Telling a story using audio slideshow: Student works in my open online course

About 190 people from 46 countries and regions took the recent Audio Slideshow Storytelling class, a free online course offered by this blog. Here’s a recap of what they learned and two sample stories they produced.

What students learned

In this 5-week course, students learned how to plan and conduct interview, how to frame and take photos, what photos to take, how to edit recorded audio, how to create and edit slideshow, and how to use web tools to share their work.

The production was carried out using consumer-level equipment and free software. Using smartphones, digital cameras or any equipment they had access to, students recorded audio interviews, sound effects, and took a variety of photos of the subject; they edited audio using Audacity, a free audio-editing tool; they created and edited audio slideshow using the trial version of SoundSlides, which is a popular software for making slideshows.

What students produced

For their final assignment, students were asked to produce a profile story of a person of interest. Below are two student projects: the first one is produced by Mercedes Moore, a music teacher from France; the second one is by Adeboye Ola, a lecturer at the Nigerian Institute of Journalism. It was the first time for both Mercedes and Adeboye to make an audio slideshow.

The first slideshow is titled “Teaching Music to Children with the Sounds of Nature.” Its producer, Mercedes, describes the story as follows:

 I made the audio slideshow with Pierrette Lassort, an 84-year-old retired French teacher, who was born in Algeria. Pierrette and her late husband Zizou, a professional accordionist, had to flee Algeria in 1962 when war broke out.

They moved to France where they started out with nothing, teaching music to children with Sounds of Nature, nurturing their creative potential. They fabricated their own instruments, imitating natural sounds.

The second slideshow, by Adeboye Ola, tells the story of Saliu, a young man in Nigeria who makes a living by scavenging reusable materials at a dumpsite, creating cooking pots, stove burner, umbrella stand, charcoal stove, etc. out of metal scraps.

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About Mu Lin

Dr. Mu Lin is a digital journalism professional and educator in New Jersey, United States. Dr. Lin manages an online marketing company. He also manages MulinBlog Online J-School (, a free online journalism training program, which offers courses such as Audio Slideshow Storytelling; Introduction to Social Media Marketing; Writing for the Web; Google Mapping for Communicators; Introduction to Data Visualization; Introduction to Web Metrics and Google Analytics.
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