Importance of multimedia

In a recent eLearning forum post, a forum member asked about how to make better use of audio in their courses.
They were simply narrating all of the on-screen text and this was annoying the students since their ability to read and the rate of narration did not match.

One alternative that they were considering was to eliminate the audio.
The prompted the following response by our Pesident.

“Audio Is as important as speaking is in a classroom.
If you had a classroon teacher who was mute and just wrote the lesson on the screen, you would have a lot of dissatisfaction.
Imagine if you have an instructor that just reads the textbook along with the students. Not a happy group.

The audio and on-screen activities need to reinforce each other, not duplicate each other.

They both have to be engaging in their own way, to make a course that is engaging, enlightening and effective.

We do a lot of technical training courses where the material is very dry. How much fun can compressor operation or steam trap troubleshooting be?
The audio and on-screen material has to be accurate and presented in an engaging way.

We recently had a real challenge where we needed to make an engaging course for medical device salespeople about compliance with company procedures. Since the salespeople did not have headsets or private offices so we could not use audio. We had to develop cartoon characters who could present various real-world situations in an engaging and yet effective way.”