Music and sounds can be both be powerful aspects of a good eLearning course. Generally, people love music. There’s something about beats, rhythms, and melodies that capture the human imagination in a way few other art forms can.
That’s why elementary teachers often use songs as mnemonic devices. The easily memorable patterns that music often follows provide a perfect backdrop for memorizing seemingly arbitrary material.
In eLearning, music and sound choices ought to make sense. If your course is about something serious, don’t undermine the subject matter by playing the “Benny Hill” theme. By the same token, you also wouldn’t accompany a casual course with the score of an epic fantasy battle.
Before putting music into the production at all, ask yourself, does it need music at all? If so, which parts need it? What feeling or concept do I want to convey with this?
Outside of music, sound itself can make or break a course. Like music, they should make sense in context. But even more importantly, the sound needs to be of a high quality. When recording voice-overs, make sure you have proper technique, quality recording equipment, and the various accoutrements that make for good sound. If your equipment consists entirely of a free mobile-app, the low quality sound will come across in the final product. When it comes down to it, quality is all about the time and thought you’re willing to give.