I recall my first eLearning course development experience. There were lots of mistakes and learnt from them too. I wish to share the mistakes especially with respect to the audio script in an eLearning course.
After completing the storyboard, I had to prepare an audio script. It was then, to my dismay, that I noticed the script was filled with errors. It took me the better part of the day to set the script right and as I was doing it, I realized that a little foresight on my part would have reduced the need for rework to a great extent.
Here are the useful bits of wisdom I gleaned from my experience.
1. Check for spelling mistakes
The first thing to do is check the script thoroughly for any spelling mistakes or typos and correct them.
2. Ensure you expand the abbreviations
As we start working on the audio script, it pays to expand all abbreviations right then. Thinking of doing it later and moving on is inviting trouble as we may forget and go ahead.
Example: If your script contains abbreviations such as ‘LAN’, it is a good practice to expand it wherever you want it to read as ‘Local Area Network’.
3. Replace oblique sign (/) with OR
Do not forget to replace all “/”s in the script with ORs where appropriate to ensure the narrator is guided correctly to present the information. This reduces confusion and eliminates mistakes.
Example: if your script has words such as ‘right/wrong’, ensure the / is replaced with an ‘or’ so that it will be read as ‘right or wrong’ and not anything else.
4. Use bulleted lists where appropriate
If there are multiple points under a subheading or topic, make them into bullets and use the proper bullet semantics such as parallelism. This enables the narrator to use appropriate voice modulation to present the bulleted list.
Example: A good bulleted list should adhere the following pattern:
The advantages are: Speed, Reliability, and Ease of use
Don’t forget to separate the individual elements with commas and precede the last element with an ‘and’.
5. Ensure Instructions appears in the script
Usually, we tend to forget placing appropriate instructions in the script. Do ensure that all instructions are placed in the script. For example, in some places you may require numbers to be pronounced in individual digits such as 10 as one zero. Narrator needs to be provided instructions for the purpose.
Example: In some instances, you might want the digits to be read individually as in the case of Application Identifier 4-1-0. Also some phrases will have special pronunciation requirements; such as RJ-45 which must be read ad R-J-4-5. In all such cases, you have to provide appropriate pronunciation notes to the narrator.
It is important to check that you don’t leave out the interactivity instructions in the script.
All these points can be achieved with a little bit of patience and concentration. Follow them and make your scripts smooth and error free.
Are there other helpful tips which will help reduce the errors in audio script? Do share them with us.