your mouse on drugs

Here’s a really fun example of e-learning. Those poor (really?) mice…

[Update] After watching this a couple times and sending the link along for others to see, it occurred to me that the Mouse Party is an excellent example of what you can do to solve the problem of voice-over versus text on screen. The basics of multimedia learning tell us that stuffing users’ brains with voice-over to hear and text to read at the same time leads to cognitive overload: not good for learning!

The Mouse Party shows a nice in between solution for this: first you get the sound, then the text appears. For something as complex as neurological connections, even in this simplified form, it is helpful to have time to read the info – after you’ve heard it. So the text and the sound don’t get in each other’s way.

I could have used that idea recently when asked by a client to record voice-overs for some educational slide shows. The content was not very complex, but the audience was mostly non-native English speakers, so allowing them read the text was important to the client. Unfortunately, they insisted that learners be bombarded with sound and text at the same time. Had I only visited the Mouse Party previously I could have done the voice-overs the same way: first the sound, then the text (paused, so there’s time to read it at your own pace). Live and learn… 🙂

Learn all about what goes on in lab mice’s brains:

http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/units/addiction/drugs/mouse.cfm

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