Does the use of Audio add Value to eLearning?

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Does the use of Audio add Value to eLearning?

The use of audio is a regular topic of conversation in the world of online training. Many strongly standing by its use, while others continue to stand firmly against it.

The addition of audio is often viewed as a drain on precious time as well as finances. Often not seen as worth the investment.

As always, the decision of whether audio should be used will start with the subject of content. Does the content call for it? And, is it even possible to add audio to the type of content?

As well as the content, the form of delivery will need to be considered. For example, will the training be delivered in a group and be instructor led, if so, does it really need any audio? Or is the eLearning self-paced and done from home?

Then comes possibly the biggest question, will it add any value?

So, is it worthwhile?

As briefly just covered, the answer will depend on the needs of the project among other considerations. That said, I believe that generally, the implementation of audio can wield a great amount of value, especially when it comes to eLearning.

Thinking of the key learning styles covered in the VARK (Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing, Kinaesthetic) model, we already know and understand that people can learn best in different ways. Therefore, by supplying an eLearning course that will cater to the styles of more than just one type, we are already increasing the chances of success and boosting the effectiveness of the course.

Having explained why audio can be beneficial within eLearning, there is also a list of things you must be cautious of when adding it in.

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My Ageless Audio Advice

1. Allow the trainees the freedom of choice to use the audio, or to switch it off. For some, audio may be a great and needed addition to the training, but for those learners who have a more visual learning style, it could just act as an annoying distraction.

2. If you’re going to put in the time to add in audio, provide a transcript for your more visual learners too. Yet again, make this an optional feature and not compulsory.

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3. Keep the audio clear, simple and easily understandable. The point of using audio isn’t to overwhelm the learner with long and complicated language. Ensure that what is being said is key to the lesson and said in a suited tone for the content.

4. Make sure the quality is golden! Nothing is more annoying than background noise and crackly yet quiet voice overs.

5. Jazz it up a bit. By this I mean keep it interesting and help stop your trainees from switching off. One way of doing this could be by using a couple of different voices, such as a male and a female for example. Switch between the two at regular and time appropriate intervals to keep people listening.

6. Quality above quantity, as with all this advice everything needs to be taken into consideration. If the training just doesn’t call for the use of audio, then don’t bother, but, if it does, then make every word of it count.

To summarise

For the purpose of this article, I’ve focused on the use of verbal audio and voice over. However, audio can be used in other ways too such as the use of music or sound effects. These too can be a great addition to eLearning courses, although similar rules apply around their application.

Too much sound, or unnecessary sound can have the opposite to the wanted effect on a trainee and so the use of audio must be closely scrutinised. Remember that just as with voice over, when using any type of audio in a learning environment – make sure the audio matters and adds value.

CEEMAR

Recently, while immersed in the creation of a proposal for a client, I found myself delving deeper into the project’s objectives and pondering the potential of a learning solution to achieve them, and how to communicate this in my pitch effectively. This introspective journey laid the foundation for what would eventually become CEEMAR.

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