How Much Narration in eLearning? Our Lessons Learned by Don Bair & Mike Dickinson : Learning Solutions Magazine
Two IDs look at the use of audio narration–how much, quality of speakers, quality of equipment. Includes guidelines based on their survey of employees. I wish they had some more info about the survey they conducted though (i.e., how many responses they received, how many total employees at the company, etc.)
We wanted to know the preferences of our employees so we conducted a survey. They almost unanimously said that 1) they do not want the entire course to be narrated, 2) they do not want text on the screen read to them word for word, and 3) about two-thirds of the employees want to be able to turn the narration on or off.
Only 12% said they prefer professional voice talent. A full 85% said the voice only needs to sound good enough to get the point across without having to strain to understand it. Nearly 60% of our employees said “no preference”as long as the voice isn’t irritating to listen to. 40% prefer that the narrator be someone they recognize (i.e., a well-known manager, process owner, or SME). A surprising 9% said the narration could be computer-generated as long as it didn’t sound too robot-like.
Here are the guidelines we have adopted as a result of this study:
- [How much?] We will use audio only when instructionally necessary.
- [Control] We will make sure students have the ability to turn the sound on and off, and that they know how to do so.
- [Who?] We will continue to use in-house talent, but other than credits at the end, we will not identify the narrator unless his or her name or title is pertinent for the instruction, e.g., having the Compliance Officer introduce a compliance course. This will prevent having to re-narrate when someone changes position or leaves the company. We may audition to get more suitable voices.
- [Quality] We only need slightly a higher quality microphone along with a pop filter to raise our technical quality to the practical limit. We also identified a storage room that will double as our sound studio with the use of inexpensive draperies. This location should improve our ability to splice in updates without sounding noticeably different from the original.
- We will continue to have learners evaluate the use and quality of our narration and make adjustments accordingly.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.