Exploring 3 Steps To Master Your Writing Design Of eLearning Content

Exploring 3 Steps To Master Your Writing Design Of eLearning Content
Summary: What are those three steps you would need to boost the writing design for your online learners and their learning experience? In this article, you'll explore suggestion points you could use in design to spark interest, invite engagement and compel specific action.

Examining, Writing Lean, And Diversifying Your eLearning Content

Instructional Designers need to be agile in their process when reviewing online content that needs to be intentional, diverse, and engaging. To start studying online content writing, you could think of examining who your audiences are and what hooks their attention and sparks their curiosity. Then you could dig deeper into the online writing design and ask yourself: is it lean? How would you keep it trimmed but intentional and motivational? Think of the ARCS model of motivation by Keller at this stage. Lastly, you will diversify your online content with gamification and storyboards, if applicable to the audience. Don't forget to check and address the accessibility and inclusivity in your work.

Think of this article as your checklist when reviewing your writing of online content. The three significant idea steps are listed below, with an exploration of the key points for each step.

  1. Examine what makes your online writing compelling
  2. Make your online writing lean
  3. Diversify your online writing and learning

1. Examine What Makes Your Online Writing Compelling

To start examining your online content, consider the following:

  • Review your company's mission, vision, and overarching strategy.
  • Read the audience persona overview to truly understand who they are, their pain points, and how your online writing can help them.
  • Write with "What Is It For Me" (WIIFM) up-front and throughout. Address the learner directly and use an active voice for power and clarity.
  • Don't forget the Attention/Hook. Evoke the learner's emotions and curiosity with a strong hook. For example, use a catchy headline, quote, or thought-provoking question.
  • Develop criteria for evaluating the impact and engagement level of your learning content.

2. Make Your Online Writing Lean

To dig deeper into the writing design of your online content, consider the following:

  • Prioritize for impact and focus on "need to have" content. For example, consider cognitive load theory, where research and science have found that learners can absorb and retain information effectively only if it is provided in a way that does not “overload” their mental capacity. An eLesson or task is powerful when it focuses on one idea or topic. Think of splitting the task into mini-lessons if numerous learning objectives get in the way.
  • Avoid business language, complex words, and dangling sentences. Instead, make your writing concise by reducing unnecessary words, punctuation, complex sentences, etc., to make the writing as clear and crisp as possible. To keep the audience focused, use simple words and short sentences to hold the learner's attention.
  • Select images and visuals to reduce text load.
  • Use icons to visualize your message. The human brain is accustomed to visual patterns, not to text. When you use icons to describe your message, you provide a faster way of absorbing information and a higher chance of retaining it for longer. Some tips could include brainstorming the keywords when you’re sourcing icons, and diversifying by asking yourself, does this icon best reflect the community and culture? Be sensitive, stay consistent with creating a professional-looking visual, and use icons with similar styles and colors.
  • Adopt interactive tools for online content. Build interactive tools like flip cards, games, fill in the blanks, click and reveal. Make it engaging by stimulating curiosity and thinking. Employ sensory integration (visuals, audio, touch, etc.) with various media and modes for learning.

3. Diversify Your Online Writing And Learning

To keep your learners engaged and motivated, diversify your online content with more interactivities. Some key points are below:

  • Don’t be afraid to gamify your content. Gamification increases the learner’s interest and engagement.
  • Tell a visual story by creating a storyboard for your eLearning product. Who doesn't love the motivation brought by visual storytelling? Think of a storyboard for your audience and purpose, with real examples, scenarios, or case studies. Use visual storytelling tools such as infographics, story cards, videos, articles, or VR and AR.
  • Review your online content for accessibility and inclusivity. Use plain, inclusive language and respectful visuals. Check for language to be current, inclusive, gender-neutral, and culturally sensitive. Run an accessibility check and review tone and structure.

Conclusion: Keep Trying New Things

Who says creating eLearning content is a one-way process? As you work toward developing some of your eLessons, don't forget to look to your learners for feedback and inspiration. Pay attention to the things that have been effective in the past, and always be on the lookout for new ways to inspire, motivate, improve, and reward your work.

Further Reading: