Using Text-to-Speech Generated Audio Files for Learning Chemistry in Higher Education



Chemistry learning, Dyslexia, Mobile-learning, Multi-sensory learning, Text-to-speech software


In this paper, we describe a case study of using text-to-speech software to record audio files as complementary materials available to students of the first year chemistry course in the human nutrition and dietetics degree program at the University of Granada (Spain). We have carried out a survey about the interests of the students, assessed the usefulness of the materials for students with learning disabilities and partial visual impairment, and tested the potential to establish these materials as part of an effective mobile-learning platform. This type of survey of the final user of new learning materials is a crucial step for effective development of universally accessible contents and mobile-learning platforms. The majority of the students showed a great interest on the use of the audio files as complementary materials, as well as expressed their positive opinion on the audio files as supporting materials for studentship with learning disabilities and partial visual impairment. On the other hand, the usefulness of our audio files as components of a mobile-learning platform remains to be established since the students were not remarkably prone to use them in such situations.


Alòs, J.S. (1995). Técnicas de encuesta por muestreo (Trans. Sampling survey techniques): ESOMAR.

Bagui, S. (1998). Reasons for increased learning using multimedia. Journal of Education Multimedia and Hypermedia, 7, 3-18.

Carvalho, J., Carril, I., Dias, A., Ispán, Z., Jack, J., Keegan, D., et al. (2008). Achievements of mobile learning in Europe today: The Socrates-Minerva Project.

Clark, J.M. & Paivio, A. (1991). Dual coding theory and education. Educational Psychology Review, 3(3), 149-210.

Clark, R.E. (2001). Learning from Media: Arguments, Analysis and Evidence. Greenwich, CT: Information Age Publishers.

Clark, R.E. & Feldon, D.F. (2005). Five common but questionable principles of multimedia learning. In R. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. Cambridge (U.K.): Cambridge University Press.

Copley, J. (2007). Audio and video podcasts of lectures for campus-based students: production and evaluation of student use. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 44(4), 387-399.

Elkind, J. (1998). Computer reading machines for poor readers. Perspectives on Language and Literacy, 24, 238-259.

Evans, C. (2008). The effectiveness of m-learning in the form of podcast revision lectures in higher education. Computers & Education, 50(2), 491-498.

Hecker, L., Burns, L., Elkind, J., Elkind, K. & Katz, L. (2002). Benefits of assistive reading software for students with attention disorders. Annals of Dyslexia, 52(1), 243-272.

Hecker, L. & Engstrom, E.U. (2005). Assistive Technology and Individuals with Dyslexia. In J.R. Birsh (Ed.), Multisensory Teaching of Basic Language Skills, 2nd Edition. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing Company.

Hew, K.F. (2009). Use of audio podcast in K-12 and higher education: a review of research topics and methodologies. Education Technology Research and Development, 57(3), 333-357.

Holbrook, J. & Dupont, C. (2011). Making the Decision to Provide Enhanced Podcasts to Post-Secondary Science Students. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 20(3), 233-245.

Hoppe, U. (2006). How can we integrate mobile devices with broader educational scenarios? In M. Sharples (Ed.), Big issues in mobile learning: Report of a workshop by the Kaleidoscope Network of Excellence Mobile Learning Initiative. Nottingham: University of Nottingham.

Jewitt, C. (2009). The Routledge handbook of multimodal learning. London (U.K.): Routledge.

Jones, M., Minogue, J., Oppewal, T., Cook, M., & Broadwell, B. (2006). Visualizing Without Vision at the Microscale: Students With Visual Impairments Explore Cells With Touch. Journal of Science Education and Technology, 15(5), 345-351.

Kast, M., Meyer, M., Vögeli, C., Gross, M. & Jäncke, L. (2007). Computer-based multisensory learning in children with developmental dyslexia. Restorative Neurology and Neuroscience, 25(3/4), 355-369.

Keegan, D., Lossenko, J., Mázár, I., Michels, P. F., Paulsen, M. F., Rekkedal, T., et al. (2007). E-learning initiatives that did not reach targeted goals. Bekkestua (Norway): NKI Publishing house.

Kozma, R., & Russell, J. (2005). Multimedia learning of Chemistry. In R. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning. Cambridge (U.K.): Cambridge University Press.

Lehmann, S. & Murray, M.M. (2005). The role of multisensory memories in unisensory object discrimination. Cognitive Brain Research, 24(2), 326-334.

Mayer, R. (2001). Multimedia learning. Cambridge (U.K.): Cambridge University Press.

Mayer, R.E., Heiser, J. & Lonn, S. (2001). Cognitive constraints on multimedia learning: When presenting more material results in less understanding. Journal of Educational Psychology, 93(1), 187-198.

Montessori, M. (1912). The Montessori Method. New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company.

O'Bannon, B.W., Lubke, J.K., Beard, J.L. & Britt, V. G. (2011). Using podcast to replace lecture: Effects on student achievement. Computers & Education, 57(3), 1885-1892.

Olsevicova, K. (2006). Topic maps e-Learning portal development. The Electronic Journal of e-Learning, 4(1), 59-66.

Pereira, F., Aires-de-Sousa, J. ., onifácio, V.D.B., Mata, P. & Lobo, A.M. (2010). MOLinsight: A web portal for the processing of molecular structures by blind students. Journal of Chemical Education, 88(3), 361-362.

Rajasingham, L. (2011). Will mobile learning bring a paradigm shift in higher education? Educational Research International, Article ID 528495.

Scrase, R. (1998). An evaluation of a multi-sensory speaking-computer based system (Strarcross-IDL) designed to teach the literacy skills of reading and spelling. British Journal of Educational Technology, 29(3), 211-224.

Seitz, A.R., Kim, R. & Shams, L. (2006). Sound facilitates visual learning. Current Biology, 16(14), 1422-1427.

Shams, L. & Seitz, A.R. (2008). Benefits of multisensory learning. Trends in Cognitive Science, 12(11), 411-417.

Supalo, C. (2005). Techniques to enhance instructors' teaching effectiveness with chemistry students who are blind or visually impaired. Journal of Chemical Education, 82(10), 1513-1518.

Supalo, C.A., Mallouk, T.E., Amorosi, C., Lanouette, J., Wohlers, H.D. & McEnnis, K. (2009). Using adaptive tools and techniques to teach a class of students who are blind or low-vision.. Journal of Chemical Education, 86(5), 587-590.

Tytler, R. & Prain, V. (2009). A framework for re-thinking learning in science from recent cognitive science perspectives. International Journal of Science Education, 32(15), 2055-2078.

Van Gerven, P.W.M., Paas, F., Van Merriënboer, J.J.G., Hendriks, M., & Schmidt, H.G. (2003). The efficiency of multimedia learning into old age. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 73(4), 489-505.

Vogt, M., Scaffner, B., Ribar, A. & Chavez, R. (2010). The impact of podcasting on the learning and satisfaction of undergraduate nursing students. Nurse Education in Practice, 10(1), 38-42.

Wise, B.W., Ring, J. & Olson, R.K. (2000). Individual differences in gains from computer-assisted remedial reading with more emphasis on phonological analysis or accurate reading in context. Journal of Experimental Child Phsycology, 77(3), 197-235.




How to Cite

Ruedas-Rama, M. J., & Orte, A. (2012). Using Text-to-Speech Generated Audio Files for Learning Chemistry in Higher Education. International Journal of Physics &Amp; Chemistry Education, 4(1), 65–77. Retrieved from