Wednesday, September 1

Voice-Over in eLearning

Over the past couple of months, Dr. Joel Harband has been teaching me all about Using Text-to-Speech in eLearning. This has been a great way for me to learn about the topic.

However, there was a comment on one of my posts that made me realize that the discussion of the use of voice-over in eLearning was far beyond the conversation that Joel and I were having. The comment was:
Even the best Text-to-Speech can only do one thing - receive text and spit it back out. There is no substitute for a professional voice talent, who can interpret the meaning and message of your e-learning scripts. A good voice talent knows how and when to change up the tone or feel of a read when things are getting overly technical or have gone on a while. The most sophisticated text-to-speech cannot approach a real voice person for e-learning. Why do text-to-speech when the cost of a good voice talent will more than pay for itself with satisfied clients and learners?
If you step back, there's a set of broader questions that I've often struggled with:
  • When does it make sense to use voice-over in your eLearning course?
  • Given the range of solutions for voice-over from text-to-speech, home-grown human voice-over, professional voice-over: how do you decide what's right for your course?
  • How do you justify the budget and how does that factor into your choice of solution?
  • Are there places where text-to-speech makes sense?
  • Given relatively low-cost recording and editing solutions, does anyone use a studio anymore? When/why?
  • And, last but not least, I've read a lot of conflicting information about the right way to use voice-over in a course. How do you do it right? Can you have the same text on the screen? Can you have text on the screen or diagrams/animations only?

The September Question is:

Effective voice-over in eLearning?

This is one of the bigger big questions. I'm hoping that we can use this to collect up some pretty good information to help eLearning professionals to make smart choices about voice-over in eLearning.

How to Respond:

Option 1 - Simply put your thoughts in a comment below.

Option 2 -

Step 1 - Post in your blog (please link to this post).
Step 2 - Put a comment in this blog with an HTML ready link that I can simply copy and paste (an HTML anchor tag). I will only copy and past, thus, I would also recommend you include your NAME immediately before your link. So, it should look like:

Tony Karrer - e-Learning 2.0

or you could also include your blog name with something like:

Tony Karrer - e-Learning 2.0 : eLearningTechnology

Posts so far (and read comments as well):