I have been worked as an educational architect or rather (in easier terms, you could say) Instructional Designer, for a period of 4 years on various corporate and educational projects across India.
Here are 10 different types of writing in eLearning that we generally follow while developing any eLearning course.
Types of Writing for eLearning
Writing On-Screen Text
On-screen texts have been used in nearly all kinds of online learning – from simple web pages to highly interactive multimedia. From times immemorial, learners read everything by the use of visuals. Nowadays, while reading people simply skim and learners might skip materials unless they are highly engaged.
On screen texts should be lively in itself. They should not be self conscious. When accompanied with audio, on screen text acts as a morale booster and often helps in encoding information. These texts are often displayed in short phrases, sometimes as bullet points.
Writing Audio Scripts
It is quite obvious that writing heard is different from the writing that is read. Similar to those of radio scripts, audio scripts should have the “Hook” factor that sparks the imagination and entices the listener’s ears. You must draw the listener into your content, like a thirsty person to a well to quench his thirst.
The choices you make for the words when you’re writing for the listener are very critical. The audio content will be processed by small working memory of your brain, as it is all about sound. The best piece of advice will be to keep aside your script for a few days, once it’s complete. After a day or two, read it aloud and then, when you hear the script, you will be able to make out where the listener might face problems.
Although, this final point has nothing to do with the audio script directly, but when recording audio scripts, always use professional narrators so that your hard work doesn’t go in vain.
Writing Video Scripts
The primary and basic rule of writing video scripts is to “Show” and not to “Tell”. Creating a good video script is a skill that needs to be earned. And it takes a lifetime in developing that level. There is no upper limit. You are always evolving with new ideas and thoughts.
In order to develop this skill all by yourself, it is best advised to read, watch, listen and practice about how to write a video script. There’s a proverb that says, “Practice makes a man perfect”.
This is mostly the dull and dry form of writing that encompasses all sorts of instructional and “how to” writing. But a layman thinks technical writing is limited to writing about technical subjects, user manuals and other similar avenues. Technical writing requires an injection of creativity to engage the audience. It requires a bit of research to connect with the readers or the users.
It would be much better, if as a writer you could bring about a dash of humor, a conversational style or even a brilliant metaphor.
To know more about technical writing, you can have a look at some of my writings that I have been writing for one of my clients; EasyReports a Kolkata based Business Intelligence Company.
Storytelling is the need of the hour. Readers can connect to it easily and people can learn, retain and retrieve the meaningful information embedded in the story. This is the key reason why telling stories are so popular among the people from the ancient times.
There are many forms and formats of stories. Some are like short scenarios where a problem or an issue is introduced and the character must solve it. This type of story is effective for content presentation and work best in a workplace situation. Other forms are discovery learning, practice activities, and test questions. More importantly, scenarios and stories requires a set up, where the writes creates a suitable environment in which writers can exist.
Writing Test Questions
While developing test questions make sure each question is direct, crisp, and as simple as possible to save a lot of space and time. Test questions should be fair enough. While setting the questions, ensure that the detailed questions that requires substantial amount of time to write the long answers requires a lot of thought and attention.
To know more about writing test questions, you can have a look at some of my writings that I have been writing for one of my clients; Forward Eye Technologies Pvt. Ltd. a Noida based eLearning Company.
Writing Glossary Definitions
Instructional designers often find it necessary to include a list of glossary terms while developing their online courses for the benefit of the learners. It is one of their crucial responsibilities to make sure that they provide clear and appropriate instructions to make the learner’s job easy.
Some of you might differ with me, saying that these definitions are provided by the Subject Matter Experts or the SMEs. But, at times, those definitions need to be rewritten to meet the needs of a specific audience.
To know more about writing glossary definitions, you can have a look at some of my writings that I have been writing for one of my clients; Forward Eye Technologies Pvt. Ltd. a Noida based eLearning Company.
Interactivity enhances the power of online learning. Instructional designers create various types of interactions from drag and drop exercises to simulations and games, to test the knowledge and skills of the learners. It helps in creating a challenging as well as a fun environment.
Writing Micro Copy
Micro Writing refers to the small and little instructions and phrases that are being used in eLearning as well as while designing the user interface. These short phrases are very crucial while developing the online courses.
Some examples of micro copy have been listed below;
- Roll Over for the definition
- Click on the tab to know more
- Click on the next button to continue
Micro copy helps the learners in staying motivated and well awake throughout the course. Keep it crisp and to the point. Use as less words as possible and make sure it expresses the complete meaning that you wish to deliver.
It’s related to the marketing. The content that you might have seen in banners, brochures and hand bills form part of copy writing. Copywriting entails writing for a newsletter, the short description of an online course or for a product on Amazon. If your job is to entice people into something that they are not that much interested, then you are planning the role of a copywriter.
Copywriters follow an acronym that stands as AIDA.
A – Attention: Grab your Audience’s Attention
I – Interest: Hold their Interest
D – Desire: Emphasize the Benefits
A – Action: Provide a Call to Action
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