Slow Down

microphone - public domainI’ve been listening to a lot of audio tracks for instructional use lately and I’ve noticed that so many of them are way too fast.  I know that the speaker is trying to stay light and conversational in their tone but speaking too fast makes it hard for learners to process what is being said.  Take a breath, speak slowly and clearly.  This doesn’t have to be a monotone.  Stay bright and enthusiastic and vary the tone as appropriate

Don’t forget to pause for effect.  This is a good way to emphasize that what was just said is important.  Let it sink in for the learner.  Let them process the significance of what has been said.  Just for a second or two.

Slowing down can also help when using voice over scripts.  It is too easy to get tongue tied and have to start over when speaking too fast.  Slowing down can also boost clarity which always improves an instructional voice over.

Please… slow down when recording audio and you will be amazed at the results.

Mind the (learning) gap

Programming tutorial cartoon

This tweet is dead on and it applies to just about any tutorial, not just programming examples.  So many times I’ve been able to follow along with a basic tutorial only to find that when I want to apply that knowledge in another setting I can’t.

When designing learning we need to take this affect into consideration.  Being clear that a tutorial is a basic one is a start.  Perhaps noting that there are a lot of “gotchas” that won’t be covered could help.

I see this as an opportunity.  The gap between Step 1 and Step 2 is where a great deal of learning content could be produced.  It also illustrates how giving out free content can be used to whet the appetite of your audience while leaving a great deal of content that learners might desire in the future.  Whether you are selling content or just trying to interest people in moving forward the moral is the same.

Always leave the learners wanting more.

Seriously Adobe?

downloadToday I went to download FrameMaker to test it out and discovered that the Akamai downloader that they use wasn’t compatible with my system.  I use Windows 7 and was using Internet Explorer 11!  Ok, fine, try Chrome, no luck, the installer never even began.  Firefox!  Worked. Gah…

No wonder I have a love-hate relationship with Adobe.