Introduction to Writing for E-Learning
E-learning is “The process of learning online, esp. via the Internet”(Dictionary.com, 2015). New technologies have enabled us to learn new materials using a wide variety of digital resources. We have to adjust our writing to suit E-learning material as different rules apply from writing on paper and writing online. Good writing is the single biggest factor that can make the difference between an E-Learning program that bores people to death and one that gets them to pay attention.
In this blog we will explore all the rules when writing for E-Learning. We will also be touching on the basic E-learning theories and how instructional design also effect how to write for e-learning
But don’t fret we will make this website as easy and simple to follow. It is important to understand how to write for E-Learning in text, audio and video which we will show in our latest blog posts.
While audio, video and graphics have a strong impact on an E-Learning application, text is still one of the most effective ways in which we learn online.
Here are some tips and guidelines in order to write successfully for text use on online platforms.
Writing for Text
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE!!! This applies through all writing for E-Learning. It is extremely important that you know who your audience are in order to deciede what style of learning and writing is most appropriate for them.
1) Organise Content.
- Skimming: Today people skim across text. According to research, readers can skim over 700 words be minute. It is likely that learners may skip materials unless they are highly engaged and the material is interesting and relevant.
- Use of headings: As people skim across information headers play an important part in breaking the content into sections. This also lets the learner know what to expect from the course.
- Use of Bullet points: Bullet points highlight the most important information which you want your learners to notice.
2) Style of Writing
- Use the active voice: The active voice is more directing an engaging. It gives movement to your content and will maintain interest for the learner. An example of using the active voice is “John ate a burger at dinner” (Active) compared to “At dinner, a burger was eaten by John”. (Passive).
- Consistency: Keep your style of writing whether it is humours, factual or controversial consistent throughout. Avoid Jargon and adapt your writing style to what you are creating and what you want your end product to be.
- Be very specific: Organise your content and stick with the relevant material. Its important to remember that students may not be in the presence of a teacher therefore you must keep to the chosen topic to avoid confusion.
- Grammar and Spelling: Edit, Improve and recheck. Grammar and spelling is very important as your E-Learning piece must be delivered to the highest quality. If you are teaching others you must teach them well!
- Trim the fats: Using text may not always be the most suitable way to teach through E-Learning. if a picture paints a thousand words then use it. The mix of mediums holds the attention of the student for longer.
The “E” in E-learning not simply mean ‘Electronice”, but It also stands for “Exciting”, “Educational”,”Emotional”, “Energetic”, “Enthusiastic”. You should bare this in mind when writing for E-Learning.
Writing for Audio
Audio narration is a very effective means of teaching a student. Proper use of audio can make the course material more engaging and more interesting.
It’s about Sound. Word choices are critical when writing for the ear, so pay attention to the sounds of words and the cadence of phrases.
- It must draw the learner into the content: Audio scripts should have a hook that spark the imagination and entices the listener like a moth to a flame.
- Use professional Narrators: In Order to achieve the best audio quality for your piece it is recommended to use a professional Narrator. Also, consider a good quality microphone as it will be reflected in your audio piece.
- Variety is very important. You can go beyond bullet point slides and vary the rhythm of your text. Ask questions, mix up the structure – use scenarios, give examples, tell a story.
- Consider adding personality. Sometimes it is appropriate to add humor and personality to your audio script. This can make an E-learning course a friendlier experience.
It is important to remember only add audio if it makes your content better. Just as writing audio can bore the student therefore always keep audio content exciting and lively.
Writing Video Scripts
A study by Willmot (2012), show that there is strong evidence that digital video reporting cas inspire and engage students.
- Increases student motivation
- Enhances learning experience
- Enhances communication skills.
The most basic rule of writing video script is Showing, not telling.
- Use Simulations. For material which is difficult to explain, using simulations including using real world video examples can be more exciting for the student.
- Use a video to demonstrate a “How-to-Do” or a “tutorial” about a specific task.
- Think about the set, writing dialogue, character development and camera angles. Make the E-Learning video as appealing as possible. Make sure the video quality is at the highest it can be as bad video quality can be distracting for the student.
- Write a script and create a story board. This Also falls under writing for E-Learnig. use the tips from the previous “Writing for Text”, section of this blog and create a lively script from that. Also make your video short so you don’t loose the attention of your students.
Good examples of Video used for E-Learning.
This Video which is demonstration the “Advantages of E-Learing” is an example of a good video. It is interactive, visual appealing, the audio is strong and clear. It grabs your attentions and keeps you interested. It is short and keeps to the material which is being taught.
Bad examples of video used for E-learning.
This video in tilted “Getting serious about E-learning”, is an example of a bad E-learning video. First off the video is too long intact, it is an hour long. The audio quality is not very good and it is quite boring. The graphics do not excite the learner. They are not interactive, colourful or in any way motivating towards the learner.
|—||Always ask yourself why you have used a certain media aspect in order to teach E-Learning.|
Resources and other links for extra learning.
Use of Video in E-Learing:
Tips for writing E-Learning
Use of Audio in E-learning.
Learn about writing for E-Learning through video