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How to talk to students

Paola Giura
 Paola Giura
13/05/2020 : Trying to create a direct relationship with the students, a kind of conversation, allows to increase their involvement and improve the final results.
<!-- NO-IMPORT-IN-DD --> How to talk to students

How many times do you read a book or an article and go back to reading the same sentence over and over again, without understanding it? Sometimes it is difficult to be attentive even for a few seconds. Obviously, it is a situation in which students often find themselves spending hours in front of books or the screen. As we have already explained in articles like this, one of the objectives of those who are dedicated to the design of online courses is to keep the attention of the students high.

According to the book "E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning" by Ruth Clark and Richard Mayer, people are more likely to follow the conversation when they are in an informal conversation. In contrast, most of the study content has a rather formal and unattractive language. The authors call the social element of conversations between people the "principle of personalization". Applying this principle to eLearning means changing the " tone" of the content in order to focus better on what they are learning. Here is the advice of the two experts:

1. Reduce the "formalities"

In order to use a tone closer to that of a conversation, the best tool is to use the personal pronouns "we" and "you" which allow to reduce the distance not only between the tutor and the student but also to "bring" the student closer to the subject of study.

2. Ask questions

One of the most immediate ways to get in direct contact with your reader is to ask questions. "Have you ever thought about...?", "Have you ever thought about...?". In this way, students are induced to ask questions and immediately get in touch with the subject of the lesson.

3. Being kind

Although direct speech is useful to keep students concentrated, it does not mean that it is necessary to be too direct. In a quiz, for example, if the student chooses the wrong answer, it is preferable to use "softer" formulas. Instead of saying "Absolutely not!" or "Wrong, try again!" it is better to write "Not correct. Would you like to give it another try?" Using a little more tact strengthens students' self-esteem, even when they make a few mistakes. Also read " eLearning courses: how to give effective feedback". 

4. Choose real voices

The easiest, quickest and most economical choice is to use voice synthesis applications for the narrating voice of the online course audio. However, a real voice is much more effective for student involvement than a voice that is much colder and more impersonal. Find out how to choose the right voiceover for your online course

5. Use a narrator

As with the audio part, it may be useful for students to have a visual reference, i.e. to use a "narrator", a teacher, perhaps one of the tutors, in the course videos. In this way, students will feel less lonely and will have the feeling of having a "guide" during the course.

You can also think about including personal anecdotes in the online course (read " Personal anecdotes in eLearning: the main mistakes to avoid") or discover " How to optimize online text communication". 

Article from eLearning Heroes
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