Audio narration in Storyline software demo

I would like peoples' opinions.

When using the software recording feature in Storyline and creating a "view mode" and a "try mode," is it better to use audio narration to reinforce what is written in the auto-generated bubbles, or is it better to let participants read the auto-generated bubbles without any audio narration?

Any thoughts on audio narration for the "view mode" vs. the "try mode?"

6 Replies
OWEN HOLT

I think audio narration that repeats only what is in the bubbles is a distraction to the learners and provides 0 added value. I would rather see a course that is one or the other (audio or written) or a course where the text is the spaghetti and the audio is the sauce. (in other words, a course where the audio narration adds to the written by giving additional detail.)

Bruce Graham

Whilst I agree with Owen in principle, I think you have to be pragmatic sometimes.

I have had many clients who are on the start of their "e" journey. They often feel that if you do not repeat yourself in both media that, (for example...) the auditory learners will not get the same experience as the visual ones etc. (not withstanding the debate over learning styles...).

In those cases - sometimes you need to capitulate, however, as the learning journey progresses I would like to think I could wean them more towards the position Owen describes.

Bruce

Sandra Whitford

Owen - one problem with that is that for some people reading and listening to information that is different creates a conflict and they lose focus.  I think that if you have a non-english speaking group it is even harder to have the visual and auditory streams coming in. I have read a lot on this and there are lots of opinions on the subject.  Personally if I am doing a presentation with Power Point I only put down a bare minimum of information on the slides and use it just for reference and then talk to the crowd.  You cannot do that easily with e-learning and so you need to make sure you are not confusing them or destroying their consentration on the subject matter.

OWEN HOLT

@ Sandra - that is why I provide the spaghetti (just the text) and use some trigger to add the sauce (start the audio). This can be as simple as a continue button or a Hear Details button.  By using triggers, the audio is provided after the text has been read so that you can avoid the competing inputs.

See the attached example.

OWEN HOLT

Bruce Graham said:

Whilst I agree with Owen in principle, I think you have to be pragmatic sometimes.

I have had many clients who are on the start of their "e" journey. They often feel that if you do not repeat yourself in both media that, (for example...) the auditory learners will not get the same experience as the visual ones etc. (not withstanding the debate over learning styles...).

In those cases - sometimes you need to capitulate, however, as the learning journey progresses I would like to think I could wean them more towards the position Owen describes.

Bruce


@ Bruce - Sadly, this is too often the case. I have had to publish too many courses with narration that matched the text. Had I been presenting the training in a classroom, I would NEVER have just read the slides to the participants. Yet for some reason, this seems to what is required more often than not in an elearning solution. That doesn't mean I have to like it and I try to move my company away from it when ever I can.

Brian Keefer

Thanks for all the discussion.  I agree with everyone that just reading text to participants does not add value.  We never do that on our non-software related elearning courses (our visuals are graphics and key words). 

Having just started a software-related course with Storyline, I wasn't sure what would be a best practice since the auto-generated bubbles outline each step in writing.  My main concern was that apart from any short introductory information to a course or task, my software training would have very little audio because they would be reading the bubbles in the "view mode," "try mode," and "test mode."  (FYI, I have no client requirement either way, so I can do what is the best experience for the participants.)