In business, you get what the market believes you are worth. This is why so many website logos have reflections, and use a similar font. This is why there are so many "me-toos". They know what those solutions are worth, and they become a checklist for how to get things done. All the little things they do, we'll do. Whether it's valuable or not.
big question at the Learning Circuits blog is around the effectivness of audio in eLearning. When should a professional voice be used? Should it be dropped altogether? Is text-to-speech sufficient?
Looking at this from the business-side, less from an academic effectiveness, I think about:
What will the client think if we drop the audio narration?
When you go to a restaurant and see that the portions have been reduced, do you think it's because cost of goods have gone up? Is the restaurant trying to help me lose weight? Or - they're cutting back to save a few bucks.
That's exactly what many customers may think when they see content without audio. For many years we've been espousing the benefits of having multimedia, and different types of learners etc. For us to now turn around and take it away or switch to cheaper alternatives - the perception must be acknowledged. I really liked Cathy Moore's post about how audio can be restricting. I do feel that for myself. The problem I have is that without having the customer come to that conclusion themselves, they will think we are cutting corners. As always - research doesn't matter, the perception prevails that more is better. What the customer believes, the customer will pay for.
Do we really need narration?
Voice-over in eLearning