EnergieAudioAkademie - Development and usage of audiofiles for the training of professionals from the building sector
Within the group of professionals in the Austrian building sector a rather small motivated group attends proactively trainings, whereas a significantly larger group is hard to reach with such offers and when it comes to the implementation of buildings they draw on “proven stuff” and are quite resistant to innovation. It is necessary to create new channels of education which do not simply rely on existing structures but open up new ways for accessing the target groups, for instance the approach of listening.
Professionals within the building sector spend relatively much time moving around. On the move they would be basically accessible for audio information that has been accordingly prepared. Situations suitable for listening are riding on a train and on other public transport means as well as leisure activities such as cycling, jogging, walking or even gardening. Listening to the generated audio files while steering a car is not generally recommendable except for special situations such as on long monotonous routes. In any case, the audio file is much more flexible than visual information regarding the options of usage.
Contents and Objectives
Topics in the field of energy efficiency in buildings have been processed in the form of audio files. Target groups are professionals in the building sector. An additional target group are energy consultants. The audio files complement existing training and educational programs and shall be distributed via USB-Sticks and an internet plattform.
- Raising the publicity and acceptance of didactic audio files in the field of energy efficiency in buildings
- Enriching the variety of media channels in the education sector
- Strategic medium-term goal: Raising the interest of the mass of professionals in the building sector for topics in the field of energy efficiency in buildings facilitated by attractive audio information
- How significant could audiofiles be in the education of professionals (in the building sector)?
- How should audiofiles be designed to gain reasonable acceptance?
- How high is the effort for the production of didactic audio files?
Five audio files that cover the topic of ventilation systems were selected for the pilot phase. The acceptance of these prototype files within the target groups was tested with the help of a field test. Findings from the pilot phase were included in the further production of the audio files.
Producing the audio files included the following steps:
- Conceptual design, listing of the questions to be covered, selection of relevant, already existing interview material, recording of further interviews;
- Evaluating the interview recordings, (partial) transcription of the interviews, additional thematic research;
- Designing a first version of the audio script: Selection of interview passages, writing explanatory intermediate texts. Collecting feedback and revising the script;
- Recording the intermediate texts;
- Editing the audio file by using the free software Audacity.
The audio files were made available via the project homepage (audioakademie.at) and USB-sticks and integrated into existing educational programs. Experience from these integration attempts was included in a guideline covering the integration of didactic audio files into education programs. Further dissemination activities included presentations at external events / meetings and direct contacts with representatives of the target groups.
Didactic audio material with a total length of approx. 15 hours was produced. This audio material includes: 29 series resp. long files (total length: 13 hrs. 51 min.), 6 single files (total length: 1 hour 2 min.), 2 “teaser” files (total length: 7 min.). The 29 series are divided into 110 sections. In total 118 audio files were produced (sections of series, single files and teaser files).
The files cover 12 topics: building concepts, thermal insulation, renovation, energy performance certificate, rating of buildings via certificates/ecology, air-tight construction, thermography, passive house, summer comfort of buildings, ventilation systems, heating with biomass, heat pumps.
The results of the pilot phase confirm the acceptance of the tested audio files within the target groups regarding content and audio quality and thus the basic correctness of the chosen approach.
Via the project website (audioakademie.at) all audiofiles can be downloaded and also streamed. Additional information on the website includes brief descriptions, weblinks and the full text of all audio scripts.
During the course of the project the audio files were integrated in 13 educational courses. The project and the audiofiles were presented at 4 external events / meetings where representatives of the target groups met. Furthermore numerous relevant persons and institutions were contacted directly and informed about the project.
Prospects / Suggestions for future research
It is intended to disseminate the audio files intensively also after the end of the project by using different channels (e-mail newsletters, contacting firms directly, appearances on fairs, etc.).
The goal of raising the usage of audio files for educational purposes can be met not primarily by further research but by concrete implementation activities. Main barriers are the missing consciousness that audio files could enrich tuition significantly and the lack of high-quality freely accessible educational material which would combine written text, audio and video files. In this respect, the design of adequate teaching material and the integration of audio files into existing educational platforms are important further activities.
Another possible prospect is to raise the iniative to a European level, e. g. via an according project which would eventually be (co)-funded by the Europan Union.
Project results are integrated into the website www.clipit.at - the website of another related project of the Austrian “Klima- und Energiefonds”.
DI Thomas Lewis
energieautark consulting gmbh
Project- and cooperation partner
17&4 Organisationsberatung GmbH
A-1060 Wien, Mariahilfer Straße 89/22