Number of narrators
I am in the process of developing an e-learning course on ethics for nurses. With some trepidation, I have decided to do the entire course in StoryLine (past e-courses have been done in AP with which I am much more familiar). The learning module will be a combination of narrated presentation mixed with scenarios and interactive exercises.
Based on some past experimentation we did, I find that I much prefer two people doing the narration as compared to either a single female or single male narrator. (Single as "one" not as in "not married").
There is just something much more engaging about listening to two people talking, rather than being talked to by one person. No matter how professional and good the narrator is, after 5 to 10 minutes, it is difficult to stay attentive and focused.
Part of this I believe is due to our experience with media, especially television. Notice that newscasts, sports events and other how-to shows typically have a couple of people. Have you ever watched a baseball game or soccer match on TV with only one broadcaster? It all seems very boring and unnatural.
The other factor is that the human brain is sensitive to changes in the environment (e.g., when another person speaks). Therefore it is easier to maintain your attention when the conversation goes back and forth. The other reason that I think that we find a conversation more interesting, is that we as humans are naturally snoopy. I, anyway, always like to listen in on other people's conversations.
Going with a couple of narrators does mean more work and expense. However, I think it is worth it. I would like to tap the collective wisdom and experience of this community to help me answer several questions:
1. Has, or does, anyone use two (or more) narrators for their e-learning courses? If so what have your experiences been?
2. What should the relationship be between the narrators - teacher and student, co-anchors, broadcaster and color commentator, or team instructors?
3. What format should the narration take ... conversation, question and answers, formal presentation by the speakers taking turns, or a combination of all of these?
4. What should the tone of the narration be - serious, light-hearted, fun, mysterious, or what?
I grew up in the golden era of radio shows. I grew up listening to such radio shows as Dragnet, the Lone Ranger, Gene Authry, Jack Benny, etc. I remember how interesting and captivating those shows were. Now if only I could make my e-learning narration (audio) as interesting. Or am I dreaming and venturing too far into the world of edutainment?
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic. Thanks.