Digital stories are multimedia movies that combine photographs, video, sound, music, text, and often a narrative voice. This digital story was designed to introduce students to writing and share a bit about my personal writing journey as a young person and then as an adult. I relied on the personalization principle by using a conversational voice. Research has shown that use of a conversational voice helps a learner engage with computer instruction because, if done well, the learner views the computer as a social conversational partner. The personalization principle can be understood in this way:

  • Conversational Speech instead of Formal Speech
  • Polite Wording instead of Direct Wording
  • Human Voice instead of Machine Voice

One thing to remember is to avoid using speech that is too casual such as “Hey, how’s it goin’? Do you want to learn some savage facts about cheetahs? Let’s do this!” Too much personalization sets an inappropriate tone for learning and is a distraction to learning the actual content.

In conclusion, remember that people will work harder to understand your e-learning material when they feel they are in a conversation with a partner rather than simply being the recipient of information.


Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). E-learning and the science of instruction, 4th edition.       John Wiley and Sons: Hoboken, New Jersey.