Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Teaching organisation

Lectures, tutorials and workshops.

Unit rationale, description and aim

Australians are veraciously consuming audio content. At the time this rationale was composed, three quarters of Australians regularly listen to audio content online. More than 90% of Australians know what a podcast is, and more than half of Gen Z and Gen Y say they are willing to pay for them. Audio provides unique opportunities for storytelling in a fast-paced and mobile world, as we engage with audio content at home, at work, in the car, whilst jogging, on public transport … almost anywhere that we and our mobile phone companions can go!

MEDA200 approaches audio as a medium of communication and also as a means of creative expression. MEDA200 assumes no prior knowledge of the relevant technologies and techniques, and workshop exercises are scaffolded to develop skills in audio recording, editing and mixing.

The aim of MEDA200 is to provide a foundation in audio that will enable you to go on to explore forms such as podcasting, drama and documentary, art installation, and sound design for the visual image.

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Use a range of microphone types in situations appropriate to their specific characteristics and creative potential (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA10)

LO2 - Discuss the basic operating principles of digital and analogue audio mixing desks and demonstrate their creative potential (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA10)

LO3 - Demonstrate a working understanding of at least one representative example of currently available audio editing software (GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10)

LO4 - Demonstrate a working knowledge of a range of audio recording media (GA4, GA5, GA10)

LO5 - Produce works that engage audio’s potential as communication medium and art form (GA4, GA5, GA8, GA9, GA10)

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Through a series of structured exercises, students will have the opportunity to explore a range of audio production equipment to produce a series of short sound pieces. Examples of such productions may be soundscapes, sound installations, radio advertisements, sound design for film and stage, radio drama, radio documentary. Students will be introduced to print and web-based resources for audio, learn the basic principles of acoustics, sound waves, sound reinforcement, microphone techniques for speech and music, multi-tracking, mixing and metering.

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

MEDA200 is a prerequisite for more advanced audio units, such as MEDA206 and MEDA207. It will introduce important threshold concepts (Biggs & Tang 2011, p93) in audio production that will be revisited later in different contexts and in more detail, a structure known as spiral curriculum (Bruner 1977, p52).

A hybrid lecture/workshop format is utilised, whereby short fragments of lecture (of approx. 10-15mins in length) will be mixed with practical exercises designed to provide you with an opportunity to immediately put your newly acquired understandings into practice. This strategy encourages knowledge transformation and application (Meyers & Nulty 2009, p567), rather than mere recollection.

Workshops and assessments are sequenced in accordance with constructivist principles, and loosely model audio industry production practices. You will be asked to complete short exercises first, in the controlled environment of the recording studio, before moving on to tasks of greater complexity and autonomy (i.e. longer forms, noisier recording environments, more sonic elements, etc).

Assessment strategy and rationale

In MEDA200, you will be asked to demonstrate your engagement with audio software, technology and cultural forms at an introductory level.

All assessment tasks are based upon authentic (Ashford-Rowe 2014, p207) production practices and genres (e.g. commercial, artistic, factual and dramatic content). A foundational task is completed first, designed to develop and test basic competencies in microphone and recorder use, before you are invited to explore the expressive and communicative capabilities of audio in longer and more complex productions. This mimics Bloom’s revised taxonomy (Krathwohl 2002, p212) and the progression evident in the learning outcomes themselves, which transition from ‘using’ and ‘discussing’ to ‘producing’.

A range of assessment procedures will be used that combine to meet the learning outcomes and graduate attributes of the unit, consistent with University assessment requirements.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

In-class analysis: Tutorial assignments/presentations/quizzes

This task is designed to make sure that all students have the foundational skills necessary to complete subsequent audio assignments.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10

Audio essay: Exploration of poetry, place or proposition

This task is designed to introduce students to the expressive potential of sound, with particular emphasis on learning outcome 4: sound as art form. Students will learn how to conceive and plan a sound design with reference to both its formal and cultural characteristics (i.e. what is the 'stuff' I am working with, and how do I make 'meaning' with it?). They will also learn how to make their own field recordings, and use an industry-standard DAW (digital audio workstation) to edit and mix those recordings.


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA10

Narrative Audio Feature: The scripting, recording and editing of short and long form audio. Genres may include, but are not limited to: advertisements, documentary, drama, soundscapes & installations

Building on the skills acquired through the previous two assessment tasks, the this assessment is designed to introduce students to the storytelling potential of sound, with particular emphasis on learning outcome 4: sound as communication medium. Students will learn how to apply advanced editing and mixing techniques to its realisation in an industry-standard DAW (digital audio workstation).


LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA7, GA8, GA9, GA10

Representative texts and references

Boyd, A, Stewart, P & Alexander, R 2008, Broadcast Journalism, Techniques of Radio and Television News, 6th edn, Focal Press, London.

Holman, T 2010, Sound for Film and Television, Focal Press, London.

Kaye, D & LeBrecht, J 2009, Sound and Music for the Theatre. The Art and Technique of Design, Focal Press, London.

Horowitz, S & Looney, S 2014, The Essential Guide to Game Audio: The Theory and Practice of Sound for Games, Focal Press, Burlington.

Musburger R & Kindem, G 2009, Introduction to Media Production: The Path to Digital Media Production, 4th edn, Focal Press, Burlington.

Roberts-Breslin, J 2011, Making Media. Foundations of Sound and Image Production, Focal Press, London.

Rose, J 2015, Producing Great Sound for Film and Video: Expert Tips from Preproduction to Final Mix, 4th edn, Focal Press, London.

Wilcox, J 2014,Voiceovers: Techniques and Tactics for Success, 2nd edn, Skyhorse Publishing.

Have a question?

We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat

Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs