All cards on the table, 2020’s been a bitter pill to swallow. It’s almost as if life, as we know, have been thrown into a washing machine, tumbled in chaos, and pulled out stained a whole different color. Without belittling all other pandemic-dealt tribulations, its safe to say that the educational sector is one industry that has been severely affected. As classrooms cease to become a viable learning space, world educators scramble bound and determined to build a brave new world with little notice. Many have resorted to educational video voice over as learning takes to a digital space.
But how effective is this teaching method, and will the trend stick around long enough for you to take a jump into the investment? We explore how educational video voice overs can be made the best of a bad bargain, and how this push-comes-to-shove solution might turn out to be a blessing in disguise.
E-learning is Here to Stay
How much of the world has been affected, you ask? UNESCO reported the displacement of at least 1.2 billion students from their classrooms. This statistic has been collated from at least 186 countries worldwide. With Nelson Mandela’s famous quote, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” school must somehow go on. And from the “no classroom, no problem” concept raises the work-around solution of educational videos and e-learning.
At the moment, 93% of U.S. households with school-age children utilize some form of distance learning. Like all things new, the new methodology has many questioning its effectiveness and investment of resources. We know one thing for sure: This new evolution will stick around for a while.
Even before the pandemic started, an investment of US$18.66 billion has already been reported in 2019. This value has been predicted to reach US$350 billion by 2025. That’s approximately an 18-fold growth in the online education market sector. Let’s also not forget that school aside, there are always corporate e-learning courses and skills upgrades. Since huge organizations like Adobe, Nationwide Insurance, Microsoft, and MasterCard have decided to hop onboard the long-term remote working bandwagon, the trend must go on!
The Perks of E-learning
Without a doubt, it takes a learning curve for instructors and teachers to switch from three-dimensional in-person teaching to a flat-screen delivery with no interaction. But there is sufficient evidence to proved that if done with the right educational video voice over, learners might reap outcomes that supersede traditional teaching.
Here are some numbers that might get you on board:
- E-learning shows up to a 60% increase in knowledge retention of students.
- Students experience a 60% quicker learning curve in comparison to in-person teaching.
- 5 times more learning content can be covered within the same time frame as a physical instructor.
If you feel that these facts are too good to be true, let’s talk about demographics to see if yours would be the right fit:
- 38% of Americans say that they would recommend a hybrid of online and in-person teaching, while only 30% recommends solely in-person teaching.
- Nearly half of the female demographic prefer exclusive online learning in comparison with hybrid and in-person teaching.
- 60% of Black, 46% of Latino, 43% of White, and 35% of Asians place confidence in online education.
- Polls show that online-only learning is met with the most enthusiasm by people aged 25 to 49.
About Educational Video Voice Over
In the same way that buyers judge books by their covers, e-learning or educational videos are often judged by their voice’s quality. It’s not hard to understand why; consider the importance sound plays in a dramatic film. LA Film School goes so far as to say that poorly planned sound engineering (including Foley) can ruin an otherwise spectacular movie.
As a professional video producer or experienced course creator, it’s normal to question whether you really need a pro voice over for your educational video. That’s especially true if you’ve created what you believe is the most compelling, visual e-learning content imaginable. Online searches are likely to present arguments either way, and ultimately, the choice is yours. However, it stands to reason that the purpose of an educational video is to impart knowledge in the most impactful, memorable way possible. There’s little doubt that a great voice over—coupled with a great script and visuals—will do just that.
Why an Educational Voice Over?
Voice over recordings is a daze-or-ace situation. Sure, educational videos are easier to produce with just on-screen text and images. But here are some compelling reasons why a professional voice over will bring quality to your educational video:
The Contiguity Principle
In their work published in the Journal of Educational Psychology, Richard E. Mayer and Richard B. Anderson highlighted how students would do better at retaining course content and developing problem-solving skills when the educational information allows them to build both representational and referential connections. With an educational video, educators have an advantage when it comes to delivering on both.
However, simply presenting an image to represent a concept isn’t enough, even for visual learners, just as showing printed text on a slide won’t allow the most verbal/linguistic learners to create representational connections. Likewise, presenting both imagery and text is also insufficient without sound—particularly when developing referential connections.
The Signalling Principle
Using a voice over professional for your educational video is essential in helping students create both representational and referential connections, and the signaling principle demonstrates this. Columbia University quotes the signaling principle as one of the leading contributors to helping people make the connections necessary to learn.
A voice over professional will provide learners cues, instead of forcing them to seek that information for themselves. Also, rather than read referential material in your educational video, your voice over professional will guide learners to your content’s critical aspects. Learners must be ‘signaled’ to the proper information. Otherwise, they may be left feeling lost, confused, and, ultimately, unsuccessful.
Gain Returning Learners
For e-Learning to be successful, learners need to feel that it’s for them. Without a sense of achievement that comes through improved problem-solving skills and knowledge when learners make the representational and referential connections needed to demonstrate the benefits of your educational video, they’re unlikely to return for additional courses.
Four out of five satisfied learners who complete an educational video and feel like they learned a new skill or developed new knowledge will enroll in future e-learning courses. Those who feel like the format wasn’t for them are unlikely to enroll again.
Enhancing the experience the eLearning experience through professional voice over narration also satisfies the dual-channel principle. This principle states that people learn through both auditory and visual channels.
Considering the Intangibles
A voice over professional can help you achieve the following goals when it comes to the success of your educational video:
- A seasoned voice over actor will interpret the script and material of your educational video. He or she will emulate the tone required.
- A voice actor has the hardware and software to lend a professional touch to your educational video. Additionally, a voice pro will know the fundamentals of delivering eLearning material according to current standards.
Since many people feel that e-learning courses might not be for them, voice over professionals will ensure that learners become engaged and make the essential connections discussed above. In doing so, your educational video will not only increase learner engagement and satisfaction by adhering to standard conventions, but it can also improve the potential for return learning.
Tips for In-house Educational Video Delivery
Now that we’ve established the benefits of e-learning let’s talk about the rule of thumb when executing video productions for educational purposes. Here are some beginner tips for educational video production that can help you strategize your content delivery.
- Use conversational tones to engage instead of speaking in monotone formality.
- Speak in active sentences instead of using passive phrases.
- Get to the point. Avoid droning in circles of repetition and be concise.
- Understand your audience and plan the sequence of your content.
- Be consistent in delivery, tone, and language.
- Teach, don’t read. Voice overs are not simply about narration, but also about carrying out the role of an engaging teacher.
Why You Should Consider Outsourcing
There is a fine line between engaging with your audience and losing them to boredom, obscurity, or poor sound quality. Because there’s no live audience during a recording, a common pitfall in educational video voice over production is monotony. This, in turn, leads to a loss in engagement. Presenters often start enthusiastic but fall short after some time. It takes stamina to maintain that same tone throughout an entire video. Here’s when voice talents become useful, and outsourcing comes to the rescue!
A Consistently Engaging Tone
Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn.” There’s no doubt that teachers have the amazing superpower of compelling their students into a session of curiosity of interaction. But making an educational video voice over is a whole different story. You can’t play off your audience’s expression, so it becomes quite a one-way conversation.
That’s when trained voice actors come in handy. Indeed, voice talents may not know the ins and outs of specific teaching content. But when provided a script, they are trained to deliver long hours of consistent enthusiasm. Such that can involve your audience and keep them emotionally invested in learning. Platforms like this one use only professional and tested voice actors that can guarantee a great learning experience. Plus, each voice talent comes with his or her own set of testimonials to bolster your confidence.
Excellent Sound Quality
In times of short notice, a make-do voice recording for your e-learning content might suffice. But if you’re scaling up for bigger e-ambitions, you’ll need the right environment and equipment to produce an entire course. That includes a soundproof room, professional-grade mic, and sound production software to balance your audio output. Not only do the costs pile up, but you’ll also need the right post-production skills to put everything together.
When you outsource your educational video voice over to a pro, the cost includes all of the above. That means no whizzing fan white noises, unintentional pops with pronunciations, or muffled narration. And it doesn’t have to be pricey. This platform comes affordable and insured with an in-house quality check before delivering you your final project. Not satisfied? Just ask for revisions until you are!
Use Only When Needed
Outsourcing means you do not have to hire an extra headcount, pay for extra employee benefits, or buy an additional laptop. Truth be told, teaching content can be reusable once you’ve got your course structured. Hence, you might not always need to make new videos. Since outsourcing means that you work based on individual projects, you do not have to make a long-term commitment. There’s always time to change your mind when you see a need for classroom teaching again. But for now, you can even outsource your video production, animation, and scriptwriting to professionals while you focus on developing your teaching curriculum. You can even translate your courses into different voices, accents, and languages to successfully localize your content as you pursue an international market at a later stage.
In a Nutshell
Cammy Bean says, “Talk to people. Connect with them. Make the e-learning sound like it’s a conversation between people. Real people, not robots.” Many learners believe that spending time listening to an educational video voice over isn’t for them. But in many instances, you can trace this belief back to inadequate production. Whether the material failed to present representation or referential content, or some other basic principle (like the dual-channel principle) was ineffective or omitted altogether, chances are a voice over professional was never engaged in the e-learning project. In cases where a voice over was engaged, it’s likely the wrong actor was chosen for the project. But, if you make the stars align with the right hires, educational video voice overs might just be your saving grace for 2020 and beyond!