Benefit of Conversational Narration

Simply changing “the” to “your” personalizes eLearning and statistically improves test scores.

Before moving onto another topic, I wanted to revisit the topic of “The Voice” of your eLearning narration.

Richard E. Mayer and his associates1 published an article in 2004 on the effect of personalizing the narration used in eLearning. In this study, learners were presented one of two eLearning lessons. The difference between the lessons was 12 instances where the formal lesson used the word “the,” and the personalized lesson used the word “your.”

The learners’ connectedness to the lesson by simply personalizing the audio in this one simple way created a statistically significant increase in learning. This increased was measured by the higher test scores. This finding is consistent with the cognitive theory of multimedia learning. Though this simply modification of the audio script did not show a significant increase in retention, it is a step in the right direction. Retention can be improved through other simple techniques.


1Mayer, R. E., Fennell, S., Farmer, L., & Campbell, J. (2004). A personalization effect in multimedia learning: Students learn better when words are in conversational style rather than formal style. Journal of Educational Psychology, 96, 389-395.


Strategist, author, and Senior Instructional Designer, Michael is passionate about organizational transformation and the Associate Experience.

Dancor Solutions is a communication strategy company that specializes in elevating the Associate Experience through strategic and compelling communication. Follow @DancorSolutions or

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