11 Tips To Write Great Web Content For eLearning

Substantial Writing: How To Write Great Web Content For eLearning

Writing for eLearning sites is a balancing act. You need to be able to explain various concepts in depth, but you also have to keep the reader interested. If you're looking to improve your writing skills, then you're in luck; these secrets will help you create engaging web content for eLearning. Let us have a look.

1. Plan Out Your Writing

As with all writing, you need to plan in order to get the most out of it. Start with creating a mind map of everything you want to include. What do you need to tell the students? What do they need to know? At the end of your materials, what should they be able to do? By laying it all out visually, you can see how your writing should progress, and how you should impart information to the reader.

2. Never Forget Your Grammar

Excellent grammar is the backbone of your writing. No matter what your subject is, your grammar has to be perfect. That's because if it isn't, your students aren't going to get the full benefit of your knowledge. That sounds like a tall order, but there's plenty of help available. If you want to brush up on your skills, Academized has a range of courses and tools to help. Their English Grammar Handbook is especially helpful.

3. Use The Active Voice

When writing, be sure to stick with the active voice. It uses less words, so it makes sentences shorter and simpler. It also makes your writing sound much more dynamic and interesting to the reader. The passive voice can sound rather weak and timid, so it's best to be avoided. Take charge with your writing, and show that you really know your stuff.

4. Keep It Simple

You may be covering complex ideas and issues, but your job is to keep your writing as simple as possible. The easier your writing is to read, the easier it will be for your students to take in what you're saying. Use short sentences wherever possible, as it helps break down the information into manageable chunks. Try using bullet points and lists too, to do the same. Keep your language simple too, and don't use unnecessary jargon.

5. Use Images To Reinforce Your Points

As you're trying to break up your text, try using images to help reinforce what you're saying. These could be anything, from simple illustrations, diagrams of methods or theories, or even infographics. As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. Using images can help give the reader extra information, or reiterate points made in your writing.

6. Keep Track Of Your Word Count

You'll have a lot of information that you need to impart, and so you'll want to write reams and reams of text to fit it all in. However, the more you write, the sooner that your students will lose interest. It's too difficult to focus on long pieces of text, so try and keep yours short and to the point. Breaking up your materials into different sections can go a long way. Also, try using a tool such as Easy Word Count to check how long your materials are.

7. Write For People Who Read On Screen

Reading on a screen and reading from a page are two separate activities, but many writers don't realize that. They differ because readers expect different things from both mediums. As you're writing eLearning materials, you need to focus on what the screen reader wants. It's been found that screen readers will only read about 20% of a page on average, and will scan looking for the information that's relevant to them. Make that job easier by adding in sub headings that divide up the page, and use white space wisely.

8. Make Your Materials Interactive

If you're doing the programming for these materials, then this is very simple. Even if you're not, it's still not hard to make the learning materials interactive. Offer test questions or quizzes, so students can see how much they've taken in from your materials. You could also offer communication with other students elsewhere, or ask them to stop and try out any theories you've introduced. What you can ask the student to do will depend on what you're teaching them, but whatever you include should help them reinforce the ideas you're teaching them.

9. Use Quotations

You're going to be using third party sources to write your eLearning materials, so why not include some quotations from them into your writing? They can help keep the reader's interest, and show them where certain ideas and theories came from. If you do this though, you need to make sure you're citing your sources properly. That way, students can look up the source if they want to find out more. Try using Cite It In, as it can give you the correct citation for any source you use.

10. Think Outside The Box

Writing is always a creative endeavor, and writing for eLearning is no different. Although you're writing to inform, you'll still come up against obstacles from time to time. When that happens, be creative and think your way around the problem. For example, if you're trying to explain a concept, writing a quick sketch with two characters that are using that concept in their work could be the way to go.

11. Always Proofread

Before you publish or send out your eLearning materials, you must be sure to proofread them. No matter how good you are, the odd mistake can always slip by. Plus, as these are learning materials, you need to be sure that your facts are correct. Make several passes of your writing, checking once for spelling, again for factual errors, and so on. Once you're happy you've caught everything, then you can publish.

Use these tips as you're writing your eLearning materials, and you'll see the difference they can make. Give them a try and see your writing improve.

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