It is very hard when creating eLearning, or even presentations, to prevent redundancy and just narrate the words presented within the lesson or presentation. Research found that this sort of redundancy can actually "depress" learning (Clark, 2002). In order to avoid this I try to keep to the principles presented by Seth Godin in "Really Bad PowerPoint." Godin talks about how we should avoid using PowerPoint as a set of queue cards (2007). This is a clear example of the Redundancy principle. When audio narration matches what is on the screen it loses its impact.
I designed my storyboard with a minimalist view. I kept reminding myself can I get my point across without loading the screen with words. The old adage says "a picture is worth a thousand words." This is very true in learning. Many adults I teach in my work often say, "I just have to get in there and try it on my own." If I provide memorable videos and audio narration with not only visual stimulus but real-life examples, learners can begin to apply the learning to the work they do every day.
One of the biggest challenges I experience when taking academic classes is how do I apply this knowledge into my own experiences. This is a common need for adult learners. Adult learners are often more engaged when they can mentally draw the lines between the learning and their daily lives ("Next: This Student Is Driving Me Crazy", 2006). I know I am like this. I need to understand how this relates to my work and long term goals.
Empowering the learner to engage and relate to the lesson is key to critical thinking and learner retention.
Reference:Clark, R. (2002). Six Principles of Effective e-Learning: What Works and Why. Retrieved from http://www.elearningguild.com/pdf/2/091002DES-H.pdf
Godin, S. (2007). Really Bad PowerPoint, and How to Avoid Them. Retrieved from http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2007/01/really_bad_powe.html
NEXT: This student is driving me crazy. (2006). Retrieved from http://depts.washington.edu/next/storyID_29685.php#Understanding_Adult_Learners
Caryn Morgan, corporate trainer, obtained her Masters Degree in Adult Education and Training