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Five Factors that Influence the Use of Audio Narration in E-learning Courses

Written By Naveen Jinkala

Five Factors that Influence the Use of Audio Narration in E-learning Courses

The three audio elements that enhance effectiveness of an eLearning course are narration, music and sound.

In this blog post, you will come across a few factors that influence the audio narration of an eLearning course.

Audio narration is used to introduce the course to the learner, provide on-screen instructions, explain the “main content” and summarize the course.

The five factors that influence the use of audio narration are:

Tone of audio

Sometimes, stakeholders utilize in-house professionals to narrate the course. This provides a ‘sense of familiarity’ to the learner. An informal tone goes a long way in helping the learner understand the subject-matter better, by creating a ‘native effect’ (as if they are taking class room training headed by their own trainer).

Nature of subject

Instructional designers deal with a wide range of subjects daily that may or may not require audio. You need to determine whether audio is needed or not, based on the nature of the subject-matter. As we have discussed earlier, stakeholders/clients use their in-house team members to narrate the course. Staff members are familiar with the subject, and this will make the narration easier. If the narrator is unfamiliar with the subject, he may make pronunciation errors that will result in rework in the final stages of implementation.

On-screen elements

An eLearning module is a collection of audio and on-screen elements that include text, interactivities, images and animations. It is important that the on-screen content is synchronized with audio. Synchronization errors need to be rectified in the development stage itself. It is important to vary the pitch of the audio while explaining animations, according to the content. You need to make sure that the tone of the narration is conversational.

Cost of audio narration

The fee charged by an audio narrator is calculated based on the number of words narrated or the duration of the narration (usually, on the basis of minutes narrated). It is important to chunk the content and get it evaluated by the subject-matter expert, before narration. To give a professional look and feel to the course, you need to use a ‘human narrator’ instead of a machine to narrate your course. It is important to ensure the quality of content grammatically and contextually before the narration. It is better to get the course narrated by an expert. But, this may not always be possible.

Accent of the narrator

American English, British English and accent-free English are the three widely used accents in the world of eLearning. Of these, accent-free English is the most preferred.  American English takes the second place, leaving British English at the third spot. Again, it is the client who takes the final call.

Hope you find this post useful. Please do share your thoughts.

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