Studies investigating learning gains in students exposed to synthetic voice audio-narration versus natural voice audio-narration have yielded mixed results. This study was designed to further explore learning gains in an educational setting using synthetic voice audio-narration. The aims of the study were to quantitatively assess learning gains in students exposed to an educational resource narrated in a synthetic voice using Text-to-Speech, as compared to a natural voice narrated one and to qualitatively compare the two learning resources by using the following criteria: helpfulness, quality, warmth and familiarity and preference of audio-narration. This study consisted of 3 experiments. Experiments 1 and 2 were designed to compare a synthetic voice-narrated learning resource against a natural voice-narrated learning resource. Experiment 3 was designed to investigate learning gains and qualitative factors in a face-to-face narrated presentation. There was no significant difference in learning gains in students using a learning resource with synthetic voice audio-narration as compared to a natural voice audio-narration. Regarding the quality of audio-narration, results suggested that natural voice narration and face-to-face narration were perceived to be of higher quality than synthetic voice narration. Although all learning resources were perceived as being helpful, students preferred face-to-face narration with a PowerPoint presentation by the lecturer as their first choice followed by the narrated Power Points, whilst PowerPoint presentation only was the third choice. This study shows that synthetic voice audio-narrated resources could be a useful tool in educational settings.
|Keywords:||e-Learning, Educational Technology|
Lecturer, VCILT, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius
Senior Lecturer, University of Mauritius, Mauritius
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