Monday, September 24, 2018

The Judicious Use of Sound Effects

Animated Step-by-Steps® are animated PowerPoints designed to address literacy, language, AAC and a host of academic goals. Each page includes a series of animations. Read the text up to the star … click … and see an animation of what you just read. 
Animations are frequently associated with sound effects  … and yes ...  there is a bit of a science to how sound effects are selected and assigned to animations. 

Some sound effects are arbitrarily learned (Symbolic mappings
e.g., the chimes that signal the end of the slide, the whoosh that signals a graphic is entering the page, the drum roll to announce an upcoming answer, the sharp ting to suggest something is about to happen. Every effort is made to ensure that symbolic mappings are held very consistent across the almost 700 resources currently available through the Teachers Pay Teachers site. A student soon learns that when they hear the chimes sound, it is time to select the page forward arrow and advance to the next slide. 

Some sound effects reflect the sounds generated by the event (Nomic mappings)
e.g., liquid pouring,  boiling water, microwave being activated, dog barking,
Such sounds serve to deepen the student's understanding of the concept being targeted. Nomic mappings are the easiest to learn and remember, so they are usually given priority when selecting sound effects for Animated Step-by-Steps®. 

Some sound effects are merely suggestive, i.e., they reflect similarities between the target and representing system (Metamorphical mappings) 
e.g., pitch down sound .... when the clump of brown sugar is dropping down into the bowl; when the firefighter is sliding down the pole 

e.g. pitch up sound ... when the balloon is drifting up to the sky; when the cookies in the oven are visibly rising
e.g. boing boing boing sound ...  when the monkeys are jumping on the bed; when the rabbit is hopping on to the page; 

Sound effects help to alert the child that an animation is occurring on the page. They also help to 'round out' the child's conceptual understanding of the world. 

…’til the next post …  (new posts every Monday)

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©2018 Carol Goossens’, Ph.D.
Augmentative Communication Consultant
Speech-Language Pathologist
Special Educator

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