Audio is one of the important components of an eLearning course that plays a key role in engaging the learner in an online learning environment. Effective use of audio in an online course goes a long way in reducing the cognitive load on the learner and enhancing its efficacy.
Here is a very short and simple blog post on the use of audio narration in eLearning courses to engage learners better. We often come across courses with “complete” audio narration; the on-screen text is accurately read as it is, and this is obviously messy and clumsy. Make a note that audio should add interest and engagement and not create disinterest. Hence, it is better that we balance audio with the on-screen text. Let’s see some tips on audio narration to make learning enthusiastic and motivating.
Do not narrate the complete text on the screen
If your client insists that the on-screen text should be read as it is, then you need to explain him the disadvantages of doing so. It could reduce the effectiveness of the course and increase the cognitive load on the learner. Use audio narration when there is minimal text on the screen. For example, show the title of a paragraph on the screen and give a brief description in audio this will enhance learning. Or, if you have huge content on the screen you can have a short and simple summary of the text onscreen in the audio.
Use audio for visuals
When a complicated procedure or flowchart is shown on the screen without audio, I’m sure your mind will go blank as you don’t understand what’s going on. Narration is necessary when graphics, diagrams, flowcharts, etc. are shown on the screen. Audio can be used to explain such visual content very effectively. The same graphics with text will not help the learner in any way. So, having audio for graphics and diagrams will make learning interesting.
Use audio to motivate
Having a conversational tone will enhance the learner’s interest. So, ensure that the narration is in a conversational tone. Use simple words in your audio script, and this will add value to your course. Also, use phrases such as ‘that’s great’, ‘oops’, ‘sorry’, ‘wow’, etc. These motivate the learner as they help him forge an emotional bond with the course.
These are a few suggestions on using audio narration in online courses. Hope you find this blog useful. Do share your views.