According to Clark & Mayer, Chapter 9, (2011), the three main principles e-learning designers or educators must follow to add personalization to the E-learning environment to establish a human like connection with a potential e-learner are:
1. Use conversational rather than formal style (para. 1).
2. Use effective on-screen coaches to promote learning (para. 6).
3. Make the author visible to promote learning (para. 7).
To incorporate conversational style within an e-learning environment, one must use first and second language with audio or written text to establish a human like connection with the e-learner. Furthermore, e-learning tools that use a human like conversational style will engage the learner better and cause higher cognitive learning. In addition, one must consider voice quality and polite speech to achieve the personalization principle through conversational style. Voice quality factors include the use of human voice versus machine voice. Most e-learners seem to prefer human voices in the e-learning environment. Using polite speech lends itself to achieving the desired conversational style to engage the learner effectively. Last, e-designers and educators must not overuse informal first/second person language to the point where it becomes a learning distractor (Clark & Mayer, Chapter 9, 2011).
The use of on-screen coaches to promote learning is the second principle of personalization. The on-screen coach can be a cartoon character, an animation, or a human to help navigate the e-learner through the e-learning lesson or course. Also, these pedagogical on-screen agents must use the aforementioned conversational style recommendations to more effectively promote learning. E-learning designers must use caution and select the appropriate type of on-screen coach for the targeted learning audience (Clark & Mayer, Chapter 9, 2011).Making the author visible is the third personalization principle. Here facilitators are encouraged to reveal educational achievements, work experience background information, and personal perspectives on content material. Engaging the e-learner on a quasi-personal will give voice to the lesson. This type of facilitator/student relationship fosters open communications for the student to feel more comfortable in the e-learning environment (Clark & Mayer, Chapter 9, 2011).
The benefits of incorporating the personalization principle into a training program are evident. The concept promotes a sense of community, therefore encouraging the learning audience to greater levels of participation. "The feeling of social presence, in turn, causes the learner to engage in deeper cognitive processing during learning (by working harder to understand what the author is saying), which results in a better learning outcome" (Clark & Mayer, 2011, p. 184). (Laura)
“According to cognitive theories of learning, humans strive to make sense of presented material by applying appropriate cognitive processes. Thus, instruction should not only present information but also prime the appropriate cognitive processing in the learner” (Clark & Mayer, 2011, p. 184). There is research to show that people work harder to understand material when it’s conversational, rather than simply receiving information. The personalization principle is putting information into a conversational format, thereby promoting cognitive learning. (Jackie Smith)
" Even though learners know that computers are inanimate, the use of conversational language either directly or via an agent seems to stimulate very ingrained unconscious social conventions that lead to deeper learning"( Clark, 2002, p.8). Using the appropriate voice tone, speaking in the first or second person, promotes a human to human connection thus improving learning. (Proctor Galloway)