Plan the structure of the
course.List the topics whichneed to be covered.Make a note of thepoints you want tocover on eachscreen. Focus on thelearning objectives –and bear them inmind as you write!
Most learners only skim on-screen
text so keep it livelyand relevant to the learners. Add subheadings for each main idea. That means that learners will be able to glance at the subheadings and pick out the main ideas.
Remember that writing for the
screen is very differentfrom writing for the page. On the page words, have themain purpose of communicating. On-screen, imagesshould do that job.
be veryspecific.Students are learning at
their own pace and do not have an instructorin front of them. Sometimes you have to further explain something thatsomeone would normally experience if they had instructor-leadtraining.
Use bullet points.• This is
one time when bullet points are your friend!• Other types of extremely clear formatting work as well, but the idea is to break up the text into manageable amounts.
Consistency . Make sure things
like e-mail or email are the same throughout the course. By creating standards, learners will develop a feeling of familiarity when viewing the courses.
Organize the content. Outline your
course with meaningful titles, breaking the course into sections as needed. The outline quickly gives learners a feel for the course and provides logical breaking points in the training.
Variety is very important.You can
go beyond bullet point slides and vary therhythm of your text. Ask questions, mix up the structure –use scenarios, give examples, tell a story.
As always, it is best
to put yourself in the shoes of the learner. Read the text aloud to yourself and decide if it is working well with the elements on the screen.(If you are not able to get it through smoothly, your learners may havedifficulties following it too)
Say more, with less. Trim
the fat! Or evenbetter, if a picture is worth a thousandwords, use it.Try to cut outwords or evenwhole sentencesthat are notnecessary. You’dbe surprised athow much moreconcise you canbe!
Make sure the language and
detail isauthentic. If you’re in new territory, talkto subject matter experts and do theresearch to make sure you’recomfortable with the dialogue andpatterns of speech.
Be mindful of grammar and
spelling. When you deliver a course, you want it to be of the highest quality. Obviously this means that we want both grammar and spelling to be as perfect as it possibly can. Your credibility takes a hit when you publish typos on your courses.
Promise it will be quick:
Your text needs to communicate in a second that the entire experience of taking the lesson will be something they can do quickly and painlessly.The way you name yourlessons can help you out.Short sentences andparagraphs work great also.
Use text, but do it
responsibly. Keep it to no more than six lines per screen and intermix it with other elements. Also, dont overdo your text animations.
Break it up. If you
want youreLearning contentto be user friendly,you have to make itdigestible. Thatmeans breaking itinto small chunks,usually with onemain idea in aparagraph.Bottomline: formatimprovesreadability.