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Need for Speed – eLearning Version

Lately, I have seen the need from most of our clients to expedite the development of eLearning modules and roll out their training faster than usual. In the past, an eLearning project could take a couple months, or even more, from conception to research, storyboarding, development and deployment. However, in the last few months, most of our clients are aiming to roll out their training within a month of the kick off meeting (for one eLearning module) or a proportional timeframe for multiple eLearning modules.

As a company, we try to stay on top of trends, not just in terms of technology but also in terms of the training needs of our customers. So, what does this need for speed mean for our development strategies?

Well, it means that we need to turn around assets much faster than usual, whether it is animations (e.g. Vyond animations), images or audio.

Animations done in platforms such as Vyond are much easier to produce, given the huge amount of assets and templates we can use, and with a few customizations, we can finish a 5 minute video in about on working day.

The real challenge is the audio. Since we depend on contractors for this part of the development, we are subjected to their schedule, so when they are super busy, we need to wait a few days before we receive the recorded files. Thankfully, we have access to tools such as Articulate Storyline text-to-speech feature, AWS text-to-speech, or Speechelo.

The first two options are very similar, in the sense that they sound not very real, but also not very robotic, it’s as if a person speaks with a monotone voice.

With Speechelo, it’s a different story, because this platform has enhanced voices that sound so real that it’s very hard to differentiate from a human voice (probably prompting the Uncanny Valley effect on people). With this, it also comes the advantage of faster turn around times, a couple days ago I produced 45 minutes of audio in only a couple hours, using this tool. And the same applies to audio revisions, for example, since we have an account for the developers in our company, anyone can just use the platform to apply these revisions to the audio.

In any case, I think machine-generated assets are here to save our bacon when speed is of the essence in the development of eLearning modules – which lately has been the norm.


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