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Writing 'conversations' for eLearning

All content, from multimedia to textual, must be written in such a way that it arouses interest and facilitates learning.

In the eLearning sector, when we speak of contents we are not referring only to texts. Audio and video are an essential part of online courses. Regardless of the involvement of the speaker, the texts underlying the multimedia content must be up to scratch.

When the script or content is well structured, the result is that the learner feels part of the course, as if it were tailor-made for him. Whether it is text or multimedia content, it is essential to be careful not to make mistakes in writing it. Here are some tips for creating a "conversation" with each student:

1. Don't underestimate your students

Clearly, trainees have decided to enrol in order to improve their skills in a particular subject. However, this does not mean that it is logical to underestimate their abilities. Therefore, the virtual conversation cannot be a one-way street, but has to turn into a dialogue in which trainees are also able to contribute ideas and insights. Make sure that in the forum, chats or video calls there is always room for their interventions.

2. Don't be too long-winded

If the student receives too much information in too little time, he/she is at risk of cognitive overload as well as being an easy target for boredom. For this reason, the speaker must try (in the case of an audio or video) to calibrate the right times so as not to create a "monologue" in which the students will lose attention several times, until the interest level drops drastically.

3. Use a 'light' tone

An online course is an authoritative tool, but this does not mean that one should overdo formalities and technicalities. Although an informal tone is not always highly recommended, it is preferable to avoid using a too formal one that might make the student feel out of place or bored. A light and fresh tone can be the right middle ground.

Here are some more 'mini tips' to make sure you write a useful, dynamic and enjoyable script or content:

  • Before agreeing to a text, read it aloud: this way you will immediately notice if something is wrong;
  • Use the first and second person in order to lighten the conversation and to make the trainee feel part of the training;
  • Use short sentences to allow the trainees to focus on the conversation and capture its essence immediately;
  • Do not use jargon that is too technical. Although the trainees should not be underestimated, remember that they do not need to constantly consult a dictionary in order to "translate" the content.

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