Amidst the razzmatazz of high-end graphics, audio-video clippings, text sometimes takes a back seat in eLearning courses. But I think, it is text that forms a ‘connect’ with the learner in the absence of an instructor. What you say?
E-learning courses need to have a balance between visuals and text. All said and done, text helps in the understanding of key concepts. I support the use of video and visuals, but they have to be meaningful, clean and simple vs. all the bells and whistles.
Though videos and high-end interactivities spice-up eLearning courses, importance of text cannot be undermined.
What is the Best Way to Use Text in E-learning Courses?
Many studies have indicated that learners, who are given scenarios and simulations, interact with the content better when compared to the text presented as a large chunk of information or as a monologue by an instructor in a classroom context. Text is important for creating scenarios and simulations, but as too much of anything good leads to bad – we need to consider some precautions when using text as listed below:
- On-screen text has to be simple and crisp as it is tiring to read long sentences on screen. Learners find it difficult to focus.
- Audio narration needs to be backed up by audio script to ensure uniform understanding – particularly when catering to diverse learners.
- Videos can sometimes be created exclusively with textual animation for maximum impact.
Many of our clients come to us with requirement to develop end-to-end eLearning solutions and believe in the importance of text in all types of eLearning courses.
Very often we have included the text script as a part of the course for those who need it or wish to read. I may view or listen to a scenario, but if it is a heavier, technical concept, I will often go to any text for reinforcement. We need to consider the content and audience and use the text accordingly in an eLearning course.
When I did a research study with a group of my colleagues on text-based learning, I came to know that most of the adult learners liked having text to refer to along with visuals and interactivities.
Ultimately, everyone creates an eLearning course based on the need of the audience. The goals and objectives should drive the content and the design not vice versa.
As a reinforcement to all that I have said here, I would like to request all of you to share your thoughts on this.