Audio narration across course

We have a client that is requesting audio narration be added across a course (which has recently been developed). The course itself uses a range of component types, most modules are a few pages long, there’s various hide/show triggers.

I understand that we could use the audio component at the top of a page, but this isn’t ideal. Has anyone had this type of request and can share the approach they took?

Hey @Mitch ,

What are the parameters of the request? When do they want the audio to start? What is the audio going to actually say? Is it just repeating the text in text boxes etc, or talking about the content in other components? Do they want the page to not be complete until the audio has finished? Does the learner get control over the audio?

Hi @hbailey
In this situation, the client is obviously thinking of a slide-based/Storyline design approach where everything is read out. This is not an approach which I use or recommend. Before I continue the conversation with them, I need to know what’s possible in Evolve.
I have been developing in Evolve for a few years, so I am pretty familiar with it. But I have never created audio heavy courses.
My understanding is that I can use the audio component. I don’t think I can set/trigger this to auto-play though?

No - we don’t include an autoplay because it is a massive accessibility no-no.

If they are not happy with an audio bar (component) at the top of each screen which the user clicks to play, which then reads out all the text of the page as they scroll then your other option is this: Restrict the content to a screen sized height so it is more like a slideshow with a next button (and back if wanted) and then disable/hide the next button on each page until the audio component is started (or dare I say… complete), using logic.

As a learner I would hate this. And I know you know that! I just hope you can talk them round with the fact that a)it is not at all in the learner’s interest and breaks accessibility guidance and b)isn’t possible in Evolve without the above workaround.

Good luck!

Thanks. Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something. Much appreciated.

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Strikes me that perhaps another use case for something like this would be a soundtrack, or music bed. With a toggle to turn this on or off. Or, perhaps for a translation or guided audio scenario that might cross multiple pages or topics. I would agree it’s not ideal, but many authoring tools support this feature where accessibility, mobile viewing and other issues aren’t in play.

Hi @hbailey

I just want to share thoughts on this question, “What are the parameters of the request?”

We started making courses with audio players throughout, and now the client won’t have it any other way. Specifically, users who are dyslexic or have other undiagnosed conditions that affect reading greatly appreciate the option to listen. We’re not talking screenreaders for people with low vision, nor anything specifically required under WCAG. It just helping out a section of the population that is under-supported at present.

Evolve does a pretty good job of allowing audio in most locations. The only area where it’s lacking is question feedback.

All the best,

Hi Andy
Could you share any more information on your approach?
How does this look layout wise? What’s the length of the audio? Do you end up with a lot of audio components throughout your modules?

Hi @Mitch,

The audio is a supplement to learning rather than primary, so we use digital voiceover as it’s quick, cheap (and easy to edit).

For some builds, generally long scroll, we have the audio player at the top of each article half-width, two-thirds left to make it as small and unobtrusive as possible. It reads everything in the article, including reveals. We do have a lot of audio players, but the feedback is all courses must have audio. So, end users don’t object to a lot of players.

For page-by-page builds, we put it at the bottom and don’t worry so much about the screen real estate.

I cannot share a build publicly as they are client-bespoke content. But this is a typical layout.