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Personalize eLearning Experience with a Conversational Tone

elearning training Sep 28, 2023
Employee attending an eLearning course remotely

The Personalization Principle, a key component of Mayer's Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning, advocates for eLearning courses to adopt a conversational tone as opposed to a formal style. The theory postulates that learners engage more effectively when they feel the instruction is personally intended for them.

How Does the Personalization Principle Enhance Employee Performance?

By fostering deeper engagement, the Personalization Principle aids in comprehension, retention, and the practical application of knowledge, thus enhancing workplace performance.

Here are examples of how you may see this principle applied to improve eLearning.

  • PoorA training module narrated in third-person, formal language.
  • Better: A module narrated in a conversational tone but without direct interaction.
  • Best: A module employing interactive, conversational style where the learner feels involved.

  • PoorAn eLearning module on customer service uses formal language and impersonal tones.
  • Better: The module uses a blend of formal language and conversational tone.
  • Best: The module consistently uses conversational language, making learners feel the instruction is personally directed at them.

  • PoorA business ethics course is delivered in a rigid, textbook-style language.
  • Better: The course incorporates some conversational language, making it somewhat relatable.
  • Best: The course uses a consistently conversational and informal tone, facilitating a personal connection with learners.

  • PoorA leadership training module uses a formal, detached style.
  • Better: The module includes elements of conversational language, making it slightly more engaging.
  • Best: The module uses a conversational style throughout, creating a sense of personal interaction.

Your next steps. Revisit your eLearning courses and adjust the language style. Adopt a conversational tone, creating a sense of personal interaction that promotes deeper engagement and effective learning.


Mayer, R. E. (2005). Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning. In R. E. Mayer (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Multimedia Learning (pp. 31-48). Cambridge University Press.
Clark, R. C., & Mayer, R. E. (2016). E-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning. John Wiley & Sons.