They say, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” Are you nostalgic over the good old days when professors came with elbow patches and a screeching chalkboard? Indeed, we’ve come far from that era. Whether you’re ready or not, the 2019 pandemic has been accelerating the going-digital trend at lightning pace. From classroom teachers who improvise to pre-meditated flat-screened e-learning scripts. Who knows what will be next? Education might eventually take a turn towards a holographic world within the next decade.
No matter which, one thing has prevailed throughout the evolution of teaching. That is the challenge of transforming (often) dry information into a compelling conversation. Yes, we mean a conversation even without a roomful of students. Learning knows no bounds. e-learning today no longer applies to just educational institutions. A survey shows that businesses that fuse on-the-job training with e-learning have seen a 26% increase in revenue per employee. According to instructional expert, Jane Bozarth, the question is no longer how you can teach something, but rather how they can learn it. Here’s where we’ll dig into the human psyche and explore how you can write e-learning scripts that are more intelligible, engaging, and memorable.
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What are E-learning Scripts?
E-learning scripts are the voice of knowledge and skill delivery within electronic educational resources. To put it simply, they are the written version of what you will hear a teacher or trainer say in a classroom. These scripts are often later narrated by a voice actor in sync with the on-screen content. Today, online learning is no longer the next big thing, but the mainstream. The one colossal asset of e-learning is its accessibility and expedition of knowledge transfer. Such a platform makes it easier for learners to absorb key takeaways more effortlessly in comparison with traditional teaching. Here are some statistics on e-learning that will grip your attention:
- Students who undergo e-learning show an increase of up to 60% in knowledge retention.
- It covers 5 times more learning material that a physical instructor in the same timeframe.
- The learning curve is 60% quicker than that of traditional teaching methods.
To say the least, a well-written e-learning script is an effective and powerful tool. One that will enable your audience to acquire new knowledge and skills in a less tedious and more interactive way, and according to their own learning pace.
The Pitfalls of E-learning
Even the best of teachers struggle with technology. Although the objectives of a conventional classroom and e-learning are both similar, their delivery methods are quite different. Like all forms of teaching, e-learning comes with pitfalls you should be aware of. Before you begin drafting your own lessons, consider the below:
Talking to Yourself is Boring
Because there is no live audience, e-learning scripts are often written in a monologue format. If you are an instructor or a teacher going digital, you’ll most probably find it a little awkward at first. Without a classroom full of students, you now sorely lack the inability to play off the audience’s body language and energy. As a result, many e-learning scripts tend to end up sounding more like a one-way humdrum presentation. It’s hence important to never forget that your objective is to transfer knowledge and talking to a wall just won’t cut it. Engagement plays an integral role in maintaining the undivided attention of your learners. Bear in mind that there are no refunds for time, both learners and educators can never reclaim the hours wasted on an unproductive e-learning session!
One Size Fits All
E-learning is commonly a tool used to facilitate onboarding for new corporate staff. That said, the recipients often come from a wide range of proficiency and language backgrounds. As such, the cookie-cutter concept is another hurdle that e-learning scriptwriters must overcome. Most training courses are intended for sizable and diverse recipients. Thus, a carefully considered and inclusive framework needs to be designed for such a purpose. Catering content for a wider demographic presents as a challenge for many trainers, Nobody wants knowledge to fall on deaf ears!
How to Write E-learning Scripts?
All drawbacks considered, it is not impossible to write an effective script that is captivating, relatable, and interactive. Start by enhancing your e-learning voice over scripts with the following pointers.
Ever seen the movie “Memento”? The plot involves endless flashbacks in jumping sequences. Incredibly profound as it might be, it can be a real head-scratcher. Plain and simple, don’t do that in your script. Remember that learning is already an active process so do your best to make the experience as effortless and painless as possible. To do this, always plan ahead and deliver information in a structured and intelligible sequence. Create a flow of segmented content that can be easily graspable by learners and eliminate ambiguity and complexity.
Know Your Audience
Is your content tailored for a corporate setting, on-the-job training, or homeschooling? The rule of thumb is to think like a marketer because relevance drives out resistance. While you’re at it, take some time to listen to radio commercials as they exhibit effective tactics in communication. Think of the “e” in “e-learning” as “engaging”, “enticing”, “entertaining” and “educational”. Consequently, in order to enrich your e-learning script, understand the demographics of whom you’re preaching to in order to strike a chord. Use scenarios in your script to apply theories in relatable real-life situations. Such will make your content easier to understand and memorable.
Although e-learning uses a technology interface, you are in the driver’s seat, not a robot! When we think about e-learning scripts, we think monologues. Though you might be talking to a flat-screen, remember there’s always someone on the other end listening! Avoid being too wordy and technical. Rather, imagine yourself having a conversation. Think of it as explaining something to an acquaintance instead of presenting a formal speech on a stage. It is important to include questions that provoke thoughts and write in a tone that speaks casually and naturally. Additionally, avoid jargon, bombastic vocabulary as well as industry-speak, and keep the language light. The secret is to stop striving for perfection, but instead, be a real intuitive human being and write in a resonating language. If you’re unsure if you’re on the right path, read your script aloud and amend it till it rolls right off your tongue.
Use Active Sentences
Since learning is an active experience, it’s only fair that trainers speak in active sentences too! An active voice is when the subject carries out the action of the verb. In comparison, a passive voice the subject is acted on by the verb. We recommend active voices for e-learning scriptwriting they speak directly to the learner, making communication straightforward and easy. If you’re a little befuddled, consider these sentences:
- Military forces invaded Europe in world war II.
- In world war II, Europe was invaded by military forces.
Sentence one is an example of an active voice while the second sentence is structured in a passive voice. You might realize that passive sentences tend to be lengthier and more beat-around-the-bush. More noteworthy, writing scripts in an active voice creates a more supportive, engaging, and motivational environment. This eases learning for your audience as they will be able to immediately and clearly see the value of each of the sentences you offer.
Get to the Point
Empty vessels make the most noise! Would you rather sit through a 30-second radio ad or a one-hour product lecture? Case in point! Don’t be a Nagging Nancy. For starters, always begin a topic by first presenting key information before going into any details. In addition, deliver one topic at a time and stay religiously on that topic instead of darting around to different subjects. Ultimately, the goal is to keep it short and sweet. And that means no fluffing words or repeats except for the sole purpose of creating emphasis. Another quick tip is to keep your sentences short with no less than 20 words. On the same topic, we know silent pauses can feel awkward, but the last thing you should do is fill them in with unnecessary words. Simply for the reason, that silence can sometimes be more powerful than words. Pauses allow your listeners to digest the information you’ve just presented so they can better remember it.
Like a car running out of fuel, script tones that start off with zeal and spunk, and eventually dissolve into a bland and uninspiring speech. Fast forward half an hour in and you’ll find yourself losing the attention of your learners. The solution? Pick a tone and stick with it. To decide first put yourself in the shoes of your listeners. That means adopting their language and appealing to their interests. For example, if your audience is your customers, adopt a more relaxed and friendly tone while maintaining professionalism. Secondly, take breaks intermittently and re-read your scripts so you can get a fresh look at your content to align its tone.
Remember the classroom full of eyes peering at you as you speak? Bear in mind that they are still there but rather, now just focused on their screens. Hence, there is no need to repeat information on the screen by reading off it. Your e-learning script should be written in a way that enhances the course rather than being an audiobook. You can provide more enriching information to the learner elaborating more on the topic and adding context and examples.
Getting into the Groove
Now that we’ve grilled in all the fundamentals, it’s time for you to take some action. The pointers above should help you craft effective e-learning scripts. But if you’re developing an entire e-learning course, we’ve got you covered in the steps below. Jump right in!
Step 1: Write the Script
We’ve gone through the laundry list of scriptwriting tips above. But we understand that not everyone is cut out to be a proficient writer or conversationalist. Should you need help, there are time-saving solutions you can tap into. Platforms like this one are convenient options that can help you to design content based on your needs. Professional writers are on the other end of the screen ready to provide you with engaging e-learning scripts within a short timeframe and at an affordable rate. You can even translate scripts into other languages. Just provide some information on the tone, content, and purpose of your project and you’re covered.
Step 2: Creating Visuals
Now on to crafting the visual aspect. Most corporate e-learning platforms conform to their own brand guidelines including stipulated color palettes, fonts, and tone in the creation of their user interface. But if you’re not too fussed about it, there are readily available templates you can use to simplify the design process. Aside from Powerpoint driven text, it’s also always a good idea to add more captivating graphics. Videos can make the content more interesting and retainable. Such include infographics or motion graphic videos. Lacking the technical capability to do so? Outsource your e-learning script project to professional video makers and design artists. Another great idea to make the experience more interactive would be to include quizzes at the end of each segment.
Step 3: Getting the Right Voice
Most people cringe at their own voices. Many would rather speak in front of a massive audience than listen to a playback recording of their own voice. If you’ve got steps 1 and 2 done but just can’t seem to get things together with the right voice, fret not. There are voice over services you can hire to do the job for you. With outsourcing, you can pick a voice actor that suits your project best, and select from a pool of different languages and accents. In doing so, you can be reassured that your e-learning experience will be delivered with high-quality audio. That means no distracting background noise or “but umm”s. Stitch everything together and you’ll have a professionally presented lesson for all your eager learners!
Ready to Roll?
Julie Dirksen said, “The basic DNA of good learning experiences is trying to do something and getting feedback.” The switch from classroom conversations to e-learning scripts can seem daunting at first. But going digital is imperative and a key requisite for any organization in this era. Learning how to write an e-learning script can be a valuable skill that determines whether an organization can stay ahead of its competitors. Most importantly, just like all forms of communication, creating a connection with your audience plays an integral role in knowledge retention. Add a dash of passion to inspire and be on your way to becoming a successful e-teacher.