Learn on the Road: Building Construction Technology Online Courses Now in Audio

Learn on the Road: Building Construction Technology Online Courses Now in Audio

Shawna HendersonJune 16, 2022

We know where you live.

In your vehicle.

And you like podcasts.

It used to be that listening to the radio was the norm while driving, or when working on a construction site. CBC Radio 1 used to be on all day, every day on most sites when Blue House CEO Shawna Henderson was out in the field conducting blower door tests and such, but now it seems to be more talk radio, classic rock n roll or country music.

In a hectic work schedule, being able to multitask makes a podcast a great option.

Hands-free and eyes-free, podcasts allow you to listen while you drive or even when you work. Studies have shown that the brain is more active while listening to podcasts than when watching television, for example. When we listen and pay attention, and then use our imagination to form pictures of the story of what you’re listening to. Podcasts stimulate different parts of the brain, forcing us to actively listen, especially when it’s a topic we’re truly interested in.

Here’s an interesting article on brain science and what happens when you listen to a podcast.

Podcasts are a great way to learn - super accessible, anytime, anywhere, you can revisit topics or episodes and you don’t need much more than a phone and earbuds. It’s easy to listen to an episode even if you only have a half hour. If you don’t finish listening in one sitting, come back on your own schedule and pick back up! They are a great use of time, as they allow you to become more involved and educated in areas that spark your interest.

That’s the thing about storytelling, right? You get to enjoy binging on a good run of episodes, you learn new and interesting topics to bring into your work and life. When we consider how much there is to know in the world, being able to multitask while listening to an episode keeps you company and expands your knowledge at the same time.

In July of 2021, Blue House Energy launched This Must Be The Place: The Building Science Podcast. This series of conversations with people working in the residential construction and renovation industry is full of excellent stories and deep thoughts. Also some goofy thoughts and sidetracks into good desserts, music, and sometimes clothing. Check out our current and past seasons!

We like that people are listening to our podcast. And then we asked some questions of people who were taking our courses to find out how we could do it better. What was missing? Audio only versions.

We listened to your requests for improving our course delivery.

From June 15, 2022 on, Blue House Energy is adding an audio version to selected courses to supplement our interactive on-demand training. Online learning is great, it’s what we do, and we love to do it, but it does require your hands and eyes to be engaged. It also chews up a lot of data when you’re out of wifi range. 

We already had comprehensive narration accompanying our interactive online learning. Through instructional design, we already knew how much audio-enhanced lessons help make a robust and accessible learning experience. Narration of complex information can help to unravel and clarify material by giving cues in the speaker's voice that can help retain and retrieve information later. 

In addition, listening to a speaker can help people process the content and put it in context, encouraging critical thinking, especially true when there’s not much text on the screen when a diagram or an animated model is being shown.

Another benefit of combining audio with text and visual cues is to improve accessibility by helping comprehension for people whose second language is English, as well as those who are visually impaired or have special needs. Audio learning is not the best for those with a hearing disability. We all  have different ways of taking in information, assimilating it and being able to retrieve it later. 

However, all of these things fall by the wayside when you are busy and want to keep learning but need your hands and eyes free to do other tasks. 

Listening is not the only way to learn, especially as many aspects of the construction and renovation industry are all about diagrams and visual explanations of how buildings go together! A listener has the ability to process information through hearing information and eventually retains it. By playing audio recordings repeatedly wherever the location may be, there is an increased possibility of improved retention in the memory bank.

Advantages of Audio Courses

  • Audio requires far less bandwidth than video or simulations for quicker downloads and relatively low bandwidths
  • Audio provides variety and another perspective from text, a ‘break’ in learning that refreshes the learner and maintains interest
  • Research has found that audio increased online students feelings of engagement with the course compared with only video or text

Disadvantages of audio courses:

  • Audio-based learning is difficult for people with a hearing disability
  • Audio is often best used in conjunction with other media such as text or graphics thus adding complexity to the design of teaching
  • Recording audio requires at least a minimal level of technical proficiency
  • Spoken language tends to be less precise than text

Bonus points for Blue House Energy learners: the added flexibility and learner control provided by audio only courses means that people will often learn better from audio combined with accompanying textual material (such as an on demand course with audio, text, and graphics) then they will from a live classroom lecture.

When you buy a Blue House Energy course, you get the audio only version as well as the  on-demand training. Think of it as a private podcast, the episodes are the modules of the course you’ve just bought.  

You'll get your registration email to start the on-demand training shortly after your purchase. A separate set of instructions will be emailed to you for getting into your audio course. Basically it goes like this: open the link in the email, click on Apple Podcasts (no installation necessary on iPhones) or Google Podcasts (no installation necessary on Android phones) button and then "Subscribe" when the app opens. Go directly to the app that you subscribed with. Click the image of the podcast and start listening! You'll receive new episodes in the app automatically.

That’s it - as easy as signing up for a podcast. We’re all about making seriously enjoyable learning easy for you, at no extra cost!

When we update a course because of new information or code changes, we’ll also update the audio course. That way, whether you’re listening in your truck or sitting at your desk with a mouse and screen, the content will always be the same. 

As with all Blue House Energy online resources, you have access to the audio course for a full 12 months after you register. Over time, we’ll be adding extra bonus material to each course.


Blue House Energy courses that come with an audio version include:

Construction Technology

Envelope Fundamentals

Building Science Basics

BGC Net Zero Energy in New Construction

Plans Reading

Look for the audio course icon on the product page if the course you’re looking for is not listed here.

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