eLearning is an extremely fast growing teaching and learning strategy that many companies, organisations and governments are utilising in increasing measure. The development of personal computers and laptops and more recently tablets and smartphones has enabled this growth, with people able to undertake training at their own pace, in their own place.
The term eLearning was coined and first used in 1999, however it was as early as 1960 that the very first computer based training (CBT) programme was introduced to the world by the University of Illinois. It was originally designed just for their students but ended up being used by other schools in the area.
In the early 2000s, organizations began using eLearning to train their contractors, employees and volunteers, and a whole new world of learning began to open up as individuals could improve on their knowledge and skills in a more flexible manner. At home, people could choose to study at their own pace and earn online qualifications or degrees simply using their computer. As internet access become readily available and increased in speed, this form of online learning become much more accessible.
Today, eLearning is becoming even more social as tools and platforms such as YouTube, iTunes U, Skype, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOGs) and others provide many opportunities for participants to connect and share information.
However these platforms and tools that have enabled the huge growth of eLearning are only as effective as the content that is hosted on them. Regardless of the subject matter and how technical it might be, eLearning content needs to be engaging and presented in an engaging manner.
Most training content is of a narrative nature with interactive questions that need to be answered by the participant, and if this is presented poorly with an unprofessional (or worse, a computer-generated voice over), it is likely to have far less of an impact. As one eLearning developer blogged, “if on-screen content content is the King [of eLearning], audio narration is the Queen”. We agree
Interestingly, a recent study showed that ‘a gamified approach to safety training can lead to up to a 45% reduction in safety incidents and claim counts.’ This is a huge benefit, and demonstrates that eLearning content that is interactive and entertaining in nature is far more effective at communicating information and having that information ‘stick’ with the learner.
Gamified eLearning content can include animated characters, scenario-based examples and interactive questions that are designed to be more like a video game. Rather than simply presenting narrated text with a single voice over talent and asking multiple choice questions, gamified eLearning often uses multiple character voices to bring it to life.
From normal human dialogue to comical accents of animated characters, voice overs play a big part in the overall engagement of a gamified eLearning experience.
Research has revealed that there are more than 3 million online-only students in the US - that’s more than the total number of college students in France! So it goes without saying that eLearning is not just a passing fad; it’s a huge industry and way of learning who’s growth shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.
As we’ve said, voice overs are very important component of most eLearning courses. From authentic narration to characters and accents, they play a critical part in helping to create engaging, effective content. Read our blogs more more info.