As we know, effective use of audio is a key element of a good instructional strategy. It helps learners concentrate on the on-screen text and visuals. In order to make the best use of audio, it is important to consider the end-users(learners) and the environment in which they are going to access the courses.
The same is the case with mLearning. There are some guidelines on how to use audio in mLearning courses, as they are accessed using different handheld devices. Let’s have a look at them.
- Ensure audio is supportive
- Replace large quantities of texts with audio
- Limit the sound effects
- Avoid background music
- Limit file size
- Redesign audios from Flash objects
Ensure audio is supportive
Ensure that audio does not play the primary role in communicating the message to the learner, but merely complements the on-screen content.
Sometimes, mLearning courses are accessed in noisy places such as shop floors. In such cases, audio may not be of much use.
Replace large quantities of text with audio
If learners access courses in reasonably noiseless surroundings, then you can replace large quantities of text with audio in mLearning modules.
Limit the sound effects
It is better to limit the sounds produced on clicking a tab, opening a link, giving feedback, etc. as they do not add value. It is better to use sound effects, when the learners try to skip a screen or a question.
Avoid background music
It is advisable to avoid background music because it distracts your learners. Moreover, if the processing speed of the device is low, the course may become “slow”. This could result in learner frustration.
Limit the file size
I suggest you limit the audio file size to 128 kbps, if your using audio from the existing eLearning courses. It is better to save them in the MP3 format.
Re-design audio from Flash objects
Flash objects need to be converted into videos to make them mobile compatible. This is necessary because Flash is not compatible with some mobile devices.
These are some guidelines that you need to follow, while using audio in mLearning courses to enhance their efficacy. Would you like to add to this list? Please do so.