Thoughts on HTML5 output and TTS

Hello everyone,

I would like to discuss some issues with HTML output.

I have a short demo project (Here is the link . The demo is about common resume mistakes). Since the project is text-heavy, I did not adapt it for smaller screens.

What I am struggling is that the output looks different depending on the browser.

Typical issues:

  • In certain browsers, the highlight box randomly changes its location. ( From my experience, the highlight box feature is buggy. Its position in a preview mode is always different from the actual position in a published project.)
  • In some browsers, the text can get cut- off.
  • The characters can get distorted. ( I am using Smart position, height, and weight in percentage as if it were a responsive project.)

I am familiar with basic HTML5 and CSS and understand why different browsers might display content differently. Just wondering if you can share any tips or best practices dealing with HTML 5 output.
I have another unrelated question. What is your opinion on TTS? Do you use it in your projects? I tried experimenting with the VTML tags, but still, I am not satisfied with the result. Do you use TTS for your projects?

Thank you

Anastasia

5 Responses

  1. Hi Anastasia,

    I can’t think of any situation where I would use TTS,because I believe that guiding narration, when done well, is meant to add another informational channel to the course, an add-on to the visuals and the motion.

    I find that TTS just distracts the learner, instead of focusing on the lesson they instead are waiting for the next ill timed contraction or mutilated expression. Even the worst narrator can do a better job of narration with just a little training and practice.

    Others may have more success, but this is my experience.

    Cheers,
    Steve

  2. It depends. If your organization has the budget to use a narrator and record the speech and save as .mp3 and then inserting those to the slide, then go for it. Make sure it is in a closed/sound proof location and use a professional microphone.

    In my case I have done this when the we don’t have the re$ource$ or the volume is huge. I use Julie and James voices for TTS and the speech is 90% good. Very few words sound semi-robotic. The key here is to comply with 508 and to use it like Stephen said, as an additional informational channel.

    I ask the SME to produce a PPT with notes and when I import the PPT, I get the text and covert to TTS (one slide at a time). The challenge: listening to all the TTS from all slides and making the necessary updates. Sometimes the TTS doesn’t want to pronounce well and you have to use alternate workarounds like the sound of “I” using “eye”.

    Give it a shot and share your experience. Always show to SMEs and owners to see if they like it.

    For the Highlight boxes moving around I think there is a discussion here about this. Happy eLearning Dev.

    • Thanks Miguel. I have only used Jame and Julie voices. As you said, you need to experiment and modify words for them to sound more or less natural. I find that they sound ok if the phrases are short.
      And yes, professional recording takes significantly more resources.

      I will look for the Highlight boxes discussion.

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