When to Use Voiceover for your eLearning


Photo by israel palacio on Unsplash

When done well with the right intention, audio in eLearning can add great value to your solution.

Audio cannot only add a human-touch, there are also times when audio is essential to your learner's understanding of content.

From our experience in developing eLearning, these are the situations where we found voiceover to be particularly valuable.

1. Pronouncing Words Correctly

Do your learners need to know how to pronounce certain words correctly?

Our team created a module that supported employees to engage with members of a traditional village community. This village community had terms and statements that employees were not familiar with (e.g. Tok Pisin, the official language of Papua New Guinea) and it was important that employees pronounced them correctly.

By recording village community members pronouncing the terms and statements, we were able to share this with the employees through the learning solution. Employees could hear how the terms and statements sounded and in turn could pronounce them correctly to community members in the real world.

2. Receiving Personal Advice

Would your learners gain value from receiving advice from certain individuals?

An example of this is for an induction/onboarding program. Employees who have worked for a company will have advice and tips that us as learning designers would not have. Inviting these employees to share their advice to inductees can add great value and context. You could approach this like a podcast.

3. Hearing Example Conversations


Do your learners require insight into how to hold a certain conversation?


We have created a number of eLearning solutions that focused on enabling learners to hold conversations, whether it was performance conversations, wellness conversations or coaching conversations. A great way to learn can be to hear how a conversation like this would play out in the real world.

When our team created a course on holding performance conversations we found an employee who was confident and particularly good at holding them. We asked for their permission to record them holding an unscripted performance conversation with another employee. This recording enabled learners to hear what a good performance conversation sounded like and how they could replicate it in the real world.

4. Needing to Learn the Meaning of Sounds

Do your learners need to identify different sounds?

An example of this could be for a health and safety evacuation course. Potentially you need to educate your learners on the difference between the alarms. Rather than typing out the different alarm sounds (e.g. beep beep beep versus whoop whoop whoop), enable them to hear what the alarms actually sound like.

5. Accessibility Purposes

Does your course need to meet accessibility standards?

Having a course that is solely visual is great for some, though what about learners who are visually impaired? You can imagine that they would experience challenges with your solution and potentially be unable to gain any value from it at all.

By adding voiceover you are enabling visually impaired learners to successfully participate in your learning solution and in turn being inclusive in your design.

Those are the situations where we find adding audio particularly valuable. Voice over can be recorded by a professional voiceover artist, by you as the designer, your client or by particular stakeholders who will add value to your project—this will be dependent on the context.

How have you used audio in your solutions? Let us know in the comments.

If you would like to discuss voice over for eLearning in further detail please do not hesitate to contact our passionate founder Kim via kim@belvistastudios.com or by connecting with her on LinkedIn.

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