Thursday, September 4, 2008

Using Audio tracks for your eLearning

I get frustrated every time I hear about an eLearning course that is little more then a voiced over PowerPoint. Have you ever taken a voiced over Power Point? Can you remember anything that was presented? Remember your learners when you are creating eLearning.

Audio tracks with eLearning is a really weak solution because it:
1. Reduces knowledge retention - students become very passive participants. "If I can wait and have someone read to me, why should I pay attention".
2. Reduces productivity: people read at about 3 times the speed of spoken word. A narrated course will take 3 times as long as a text one. "Why take 15 minutes to do a course when I can take 45?"
3. Reduces accessibility: When you create a narrated course with lots of pictures, random access based on topics of interest becomes harder. You have to wait for the course to get back to the item of interest that you wanted, rather than being able to navigate there in 3 clicks/5 seconds.
4. Removes searchability: Adobe recently announced that they are developing technology so that Flash items would become search-able. Finally, after 10 years of Internet, they're starting to think about how people may use it. Meanwhile, outfits such as yours have been pushing flash based courses (PPT-to-Flash converters) because of the high levels of "interactivity" they provide. That's a joke!
5. If recorded video is such a good product, why don't we just record all the college/university professors one time, and then just play the recordings for the students? Why? because it sucks and nobody will pay attention to some boring video. Putting the boring video on-line doesn't make it any less boring, it just makes it easier to turn off.

1 comment:

steve said...

You forgot one additional problem with audio in eLearning - it can make courses expensive to maintain if content changes require re-recording of the audio tracks.