I’m sure you’ve heard this before – you should use audio in your elearning.
My response to things like that is “Why?” Well, here’s your why.
Multiple Input Channels
This was in one of my first classes of my ISD masters – use as many input channels as possible to get the information across. The eyes read. The fingers can type or do whatever the task is. The ears can hear. If you leave out the audio, you’re leaving behind a powerful component.
In the case of an auditory learner, leaving out the audio could leave them completely out in the cold. According to Lake Superior State University, about 30 percent of people are auditory learners.
Do you really want to leave out 30 percent of your audience?
Capture Learner Attention
Using audio with visual information keeps learners engaged. If you don’t keep their attention as we all know, they aren’t going to learn the required points.
Now, does this mean you use the same voice through out? It depends. One of my favorite ways to use audio is have a narrator throughout the elearning, and use other voices for characters in vignettes or scenes. The learner identifies the narrator voice with giving information and knows what to expect every time they hear that voice.
Changing voices strategically helps to capture learner attention.
Adding Information Not In Text
This might be a little controversial. My personal feeling is that you don’t have a narrator just read what is on the screen. The narrator should supplement what is on the screen with additional information. In other words, keep the on screen text short and to the point, and let your narrator fill in the details behind that text.
If the narrator does nothing more than read what is on the screen, the learner can feel bored or even insulted (“What, do they think I can’t read!”). This can drive the learner completely away from the learning module.
Explain Complex Diagrams
Having a narrator explain a complex drawing is one of the best uses of audio. Explaining a complex diagram in written words can be very confusing and frustrating. Having someone walk the learner through the complexities brings it into focus much more quickly. The visuals can highlight the portions of the diagram being discussed, etc. to further aid the learner grasp the ideas.
It’s a beautiful thing.
Base your use of audio elements on the material and the learners. And your budget of course. An argument can definitely be made that the expense of voice talent for the training is more than made up in the increase in the effectiveness of the training.
As with anything, the audio is only one component. Good design is at the basis of it all.
As we all know.