Adobe Voice: A Tool Of The eLearning Revolution
There are many eLearning design tools available on the market today. There are software suites, apps, and websites specifically designed for eLearning content design. There are also numerous software suites, apps, and website not intended for eLearning design that are being used to generate content anyways. The guerilla eLearning content generators who are taking matters into their own hands and creating their own tutorials are using these unsuitable tools. I believe that as eLearning professionals, we can reach out to the guerilla generators and build bridges by teaching them more about eLearning design best practices. There are some great tools on the market that could build our bridges for us. This article will look at Adobe Voice and why I believe that it could be one of the greatest bridge-building tools in the eLearning Revolution.
If you are not familiar with it, Adobe Voice is a free iPad app designed to make “explainer videos.” The user tells their story in a video using clean voice recordings, catchy background music, and simple text and graphics (or photographs, if desired.) I have used Adobe Voice as an introduction video for a class authored in Captivate, I have used Adobe Voice to shoot short marketing videos for classes, I have used Adobe Voice to shoot quick, simple tutorial videos… The options are wide and varied, and my clients and their readers love the output.
So, how can guerilla eLearning designers use Adobe Voice? The first time I created an Adobe Voice video to a client, it reminded me of an old Rice Krispies commercial that showed a mom pretending that Rice Krispie Treats were super hard to make because they taste so good. My client thought that the video took me hours, but in reality, it took me about 15 minutes. Adobe Voice videos have so much in common with Rice Krispie Treats, they are sweet and tasty, super easy to produce, and everyone loves them. That being said, just as no one should make an entire meal out of Rice Krispie Treats*, no eLearning event should consist solely of Adobe Voice videos. I believe that giving guerilla content generators a taste of eLearning best practices through Adobe Voice could help them to realize how much better their product could be if they worked with us and applied the best practices to the rest of their content.
*I know, I also find it shocking that I cannot make an entire meal out of Rice Krispie treats, but my mother (and nutritional guides) tell me that I need to round off a meal with veggies and meats. Lame.
Three reasons why Adobe Voice is the perfect bridge-building tool for Guerilla eLearning content generators and eLearning professionals:
- Adobe Voice’s user interface breaks the video-producing process into quick, easy steps. The video producing process is broken out into a few simple steps and options are limited to the themes and graphics already loaded into Adobe Voice**, so the author is not overwhelmed, and therefore petrified, by millions of options. Voice recording is simple and only requires pressing and holding one button. The app is anything but intimidating, making it an attractive option for guerilla content generators.
- Simplicity is the running theme of Adobe Voice and is re-iterated over and over again during the design process. The app has a limited number of options for screen layouts, so guerilla content generators are forced to use simple layouts and a limited number of graphics, thereby avoiding the common mistake of over-cluttered screens that turn students off. The app also encourages the author to keep each slide short and concise. When recording audio segments, the app pops up with warnings if the segment is more than 30 seconds long. This helps keep the videos short and focused, since the author does not have a lot of time or screen space to ramble on or go off topic.
- Adobe Voice packages the finished video in such a way that it is incredibly simple to save and share. Once the author is finished designing the video, they are given several output options, including social media links, email, or posting the video onto the cloud. So many guerilla eLearning generators have trouble thinking outside of the YouTube box, so Adobe Voice could help them to feel more comfortable posting their materials in other sites that could support more robust eLearning materials.
**Authors do have the option of loading their own background music and picture into Adobe Voice, but this is for more advanced users and the app can easily be used with the out-of-the-box music and graphics.
In order to facilitate a successful eLearning revolution, eLearning professionals need to work with and enable guerilla content generators. Their content will be generated, whether we help them or not, but bad eLearning experiences have a ripple effect across the community. If people think of disorganized, unattractive YouTube tutorials immediately upon hearing the term “eLearning,” then they will carry that negative image into any eLearning event they take part in, professionally or personally. While the eLearning community has worked hard to make well-designed eLearning options plentiful in academia and corporate learning departments, we need to focus on the less formal opportunities. Using tools like Adobe Voice to reach out and support the guerilla content generators will go a long way in building good relationships and better eLearning experiences overall.