How to write a Script for Spoken Tutorials

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 A script is a written document containing the narration of the Spoken Tutorial

While writing a script for a Spoken Tutorial, it is a good idea to follow these steps –

Identify the need

1. Why are you making this tutorial?  
2. What do you want the user/viewer to learn through this tutorial? 
3. Mention the learning objective at the beginning of the script
Eg- To explain how to use LaTeX to write a mathematical equation

Preparation before writing the script

1. Become conversant with the software that you are going to use for the spoken tutorial 
2. If you do not know much, then familiarise yourself with the features you are going to demonstrate in the spoken
3. Test all the features you are going to use and confirm to check their applications
4. Spend enough time trying and testing the software in detail beforehand.  This way, you will know all the 
  limitations of the software

Focus on the topic that you want to demonstrate

1. Choose one topic and explain it well  
2. Make a series of tutorials if required to talk about each sub-topic separately
3. These can be woven into a study plan for that topic
Eg of a study plan- 
4. To explain how to compile in LaTeX
5. To explain how to typeset mathematical characters in LaTeX
6. To explain how to use LaTeX to write a mathematical equation

Choice of words

1. Use short sentences (about 60 characters)
2. Use simple words – avoid jargon  
3. Use a combination of demonstrations(screencast) and slides
4. Be specific.  Do not say, “Go here and click this.”  Instead say, “Go to the top left-hand corner of the screen.  
  Click on File and select New”

Follow a pedagogical approach while writing the script

1. Give a brief introduction of the topic/FOSS
2. Mention the OS compatibility  
3. Mention the system requirements, if any, for that software
4. Write all the steps from the beginning to the end.  Don’t leave anything to imagination or assumption
5. If any prerequisite knowledge is necessary in order to understand this spoken tutorial, mention it
6. Ideally, this should be available as another spoken tutorial
7. If the spoken tutorial involves downloads from different websites,  show screen-shots of those websites 
8. Remember, this is a visual medium, hence SHOW 
9. This will help in case of difficulty in understanding the pronunciation or to avoid spelling mistakes
Eg – website names or commands
10. If you are going to make a series of tutorials on a single topic, include the first 3 points in the first 
  tutorial of the series.  You need not repeat it in the subsequent tutorials for that series or study-plan

Steps to write a Script

 Title Screen - Objectives - Content - Summary - End Task
 Title screen: This screen will have the name of the topic on which the Spoken Tutorial will be created.  It should 
have credits to the mission, project, names of the script-writer + institute and narrator + institute, Talk to a
teacher logo, date of creation Objectives: Informing the learner about the objectives that s/he will be able to learn after going through the Spoken Tutorial Content: The core information will be presented in a step by step manner. This will have a screencast along with an audio narration Different strategies or pedagogical approaches should be incorporated while writing the script. This should be done by considering the following aspects: 1. Topic of the tutorial 2. Learners’ age 3. Difficulty level of the tutorial Some of the suggested strategies or pedagogical approaches are as follows: - Scenario based approach - Dialogue form - Example rule method - Gagne’s nine events of instructions - Mentorship (Refer to the Appendix for more details on the above mentioned approaches) Summary: This slide will have a quick recap of the content taught in this tutorial. This summary can be either in the form of bulleted text or a flow chart showing the steps End task: At the end of the tutorial, you may want to suggest a task, a quiz or a project related to the content of the Spoken Tutorial, which the learner can do. You may want to display screenshots of the expected results The last slide will talk about the mission and the project. Refer to the sample templates.

Review the script for accuracy and clarity

1. Ask a novice to verify the correctness of your script by actually trying it
2. Ask the novice to try the script without anyone’s (including yourself) help
3. The script should be improved until the novice can follow the script without any help

Review the script for grammar

 It is essential to proof-read the script to rectify any grammatical mistakes before recording

Time duration for a Spoken Tutorial

1. Ideally, restrict the time of a spoken tutorial to 10 minutes
2. Which means, the script when read aloud should not exceed 7 mins
3. You will need an extra 3 mins for cursor movement, transitions, other screen activities
4. This is an average attention span time and most of the information given around 10 minutes will be retained

Spoken Tutorial File-size

- Ideally, try to restrict the file-size of a spoken tutorial to around 10MB, which would translate to 1MB per minute  
- This is ideal for streaming videos even if the bandwidth is low.  Try to work around this ratio while setting the 
recording parameters of the screencasting software

What is a Spoken Tutorial


Guidelines for Narrating a Spoken Tutorial

Guidelines for Screencasting a Spoken Tutorial

Click here for more information on SPOKEN TUTORIALS

This page has been created by Nancy Varkey on 27th April, 2010

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