This term Social Conversational Partner jumped at me in one of my casual ‘flip-throughs’ on the net. Nudged by curiosity, I sat up and took notice of its implications. Interesting!
Would I take to someone whose voice is laced with a pompous tone? Would I yack with a dude who sounds so official in a weekend party? Could a dim character evoke an active interest in me?
All these questions would have answers unanimously resonating in the negative. Simple! No ‘subjective’ contexts here!
Now, coming back to the Social Conversational Partner! Clark and Mayor state that ‘personalisation induces learners to engage with the computer as a social conversational partner’.
The e-learning course we produce, ‘speaks’ to the learner, and is supposed to hold the attention, say, for 60 minutes. Should not the tone of the voice be just right, to keep the learner hooked? Anything other than this – belonging to any of the territories we discussed above – is sure to have the learner cringe away from the course... forever.
Now, if done right, the whole thing becomes a holistic deal, complemented by the right style of writing, visuals, and even the font(s).
It would be like raising the toast to the learner, basically!
(Nirmal Ranganathan, Instructional Designer, C2 Workshop)