How To Use Audio in eLearning
The most successful eLearning courses are those that are all-encompassing and allow learners to become fully immersed in the learning process by utilizing a variety of multimedia elements. In many cases, to use audio in eLearning helps your learners to not only acquire the content more efficiently, but to relate more effectively to the information too, so that they can store it for later use, which is the ultimate goal.
- Avoid text-speech redundancies.
The audio you include in your eLearning course should not just simply narrate the text that is being shown on the screen. It's always a good idea to highlight certain key concepts on-screen and the eLearning voice recording you include to elaborate upon the subject or offer new insight into the topic. This can help to keep a learner engaged in the learning process, rather than bored by redundant content.
- Pair audio with visuals for more complex subject matter.
If there is a topic that may be more difficult to understand, why not pair audio with images and graphics in order to provide learners with a more detailed look of the steps or ideas involved? For example, if you are holding an online training event that walks the learners through the process of repairing a computer, you can offer them a detailed narration of the steps involved while showing pictures that illustrate each step.
- Always use high quality audio that is clear and concise.
Even if you have devoted resources to developing an informative and visually stunning presentation, if you pair it with poor quality audio, it is just enough to dramatically reduce the quality and value of the overall eLearning experience. Using high quality audio that is easy to understand, on-topic, and concise is key to a successful eLearning course. Ideally, you'll want to choose audio that is clear and has minimal white noise. If you're using a narration in your eLearning deliverable, try to choose a narrator who has an accent that is easy to comprehend and doesn't distract the learners so much so that they don't actually acquire the information you're offering.
- Assess learner’s knowledge by asking them to create an audio presentation.
Ask your learners to develop and record audio presentations based upon what they've learned throughout the eLearning course. This can be in the form of a song, a narrated presentation, or even something a bit more creative, like a group collaboration project that requires them to record a real life scenario or a “radio show” based upon the concepts you've been studying. This can help you to assess what knowledge they have acquired and retained, and to gauge their overall progress.
- Offer audio instructions for more complicated assignments.
This tip is particularly useful in asynchronous learning strategies, given that you can provide an audio explanation of your expectations and to guide your learners through the steps they will need to take in order to complete the assignment. For instance, if there is a project that may be more complicated or time consuming, you can provide learners with an audio guide that gives them clear and explicit instructions, and a relevant example.
- Allow learners to control the audio playback and volume.
When you integrate audio into your eLearning course, be sure that learners have the ability to adjust the volume or mute the narration or music altogether. Every learner is different and will be accessing the eLearning course in a different environment, especially if the eLearning course is also accessible through mobile devices. For example, learner may be in a public place when he/she access the eLearning course. As such, the learner will probably want to have the option to turn down the volume.
- Choose audio that incorporates the right tone, jargon, and pace.
The audio that you use in your eLearning deliverable should be in-line with the message and the feel you are trying to convey. You should use jargon that the audience can easily comprehend, and incorporate music that appeals to a wide range of tastes. The pace should also be considered. You'll want to move along quickly enough so that the learner's stay motivated and engaged, but not so quickly that they become confused or fall behind.
- Enhance the experience with suitable background music.
Integrating background music into your eLearning deliverable can make the experience more exciting and effective. It can also help learners to actually retain the information being provided, given that they will feel as though they are immersed within the eLearning experience.
- Use voice over actors to make the eLearning course professional yet personal.
If you are looking for ways to make your eLearning course even more professional and polished, you may want to consider hiring a voice over actor to record the audio. There are a number of voice over freelancing sites where you can find trained professionals who can help you create personalized narrations, descriptions for your eLearning course, and songs.
- Boost the fun and creativity of your eLearning courses with customized songs.
There are a variety of free audio creation tools that give you the opportunity to create personalized songs for your learners. These songs feature information about the subject matter and encourage certain learner behaviors, while they make the eLearning experience fun and enjoyable. You can even encourage learners to create their own songs based upon the subject matter if you are looking for ways to boost creativity in your eLearning course.
With these tips to use audio in eLearning you now have the power to transform complex or dull subject matter into exciting and interactive learning materials that engage your learners and increase knowledge retention.
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