Learners Prefer Self-Paced, Text-Based Learning

A study on multimedia in learning by a Dutch University reinforces an important Lessonly mantra: self-paced, text-based learning is more desirable than fixed-pace, narrated learning.

In short, words still matter.

They matter quite a lot actually. This study pointed out that while traditional instructional designers might prefer narrated, timed Powerpoints and Captivate modules, their most important constituency, their Learners, do not.

Here are some other highlights from the study on role that text plays in multimedia instruction by Cathy Moore:

In all other cases, visual text seems the more sensible presentation mode, especially because it is cheaper to produce, easier to deliver, and, in combination with learner-paced instructions, even more effective in terms of transfer of learning.

Learner-paced, text-based materials got better results than versions that used narration or controlled the pacing.

A Learner-first mentality is key to a great learning program. If you are creating learning content and want to control a Learner’s pace or force the Learner to listen to a voiceover, remember to weigh the preferences of your Learner population heavily.

This aligns perfectly with another Lessonly mantra: we create learning software that employees demand. It’s hard to do that if you don’t weigh the opinion of your Learners more heavily than your own.

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