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How to write your elearning content

When developing online learning, the best content in the world can be let down by a writing tone that is off-the-mark. Whether it’s flippant or formal, your tone needs to connect with your learners. Asking a few simple questions before you write, will help you get your tone right.

Speak to your audience

Your content, your message and your audience determine the tone of your writing. It may be objective or subjective, logical or emotional, intimate or distant, serious or humorous. It can consist mostly of long, intricate sentences, of short, simple ones, or of something in between.

Prepare your written content with your learners in mind.

  • Who are you writing for?
  • What message or attitude do you want to convey?
  • What mood or emotion do you want to evoke?

Tell them what they want to know rather than just what you want to tell them.

Writing elearning content

Use plain language

Unless your audience would benefit from a specific tone, we recommend using plain language. Plain language is the simplest, most straightforward way of expressing an idea.

Plain language uses:

  • familiar, everyday words
  • active voice
  • personal pronouns such as ‘you’ and ‘we’
  • simple sentence framework, with shorter sentences
  • lists, headers and tables to make it easy to scan and find information.

A plain language approach keeps your tone friendly and warm, without being overly familiar. You want your writing to be fresh and engaging so stay away from stuffy or archaic language, euphemisms, clich├ęs or trendy/slang words/phrases.

Examples of writing tone

Formal

There was a delay in the start of the project, attributable to circumstances beyond the control of all relevant parties.

Informal

The project start was delayed due to a whole lot of stuff we had no control over.

Objective

Some students found the course too challenging for their current skill level.

Subjective

I found the course pitched way above my skill level.

Logical

The app provides a way for those with endometriosis to connect with others for support.

Emotional

Those suffering the pain of endometriosis finally have an app to help them connect with others.

Personal / Warm

We’d like to welcome you to our Learning Development Conference.

Impersonal

The College of Learning Development welcomes participants to the 2021 CLD conference.

Scientific

After unemployment, symptoms of somatization, depression, and anxiety were significantly greater in the unemployed than employed.

Simple language

Unemployment seems to make people sicker, more depressed and more anxious.

Youthful

It’s wild to think that you can learn to become an amazing nurse or paramedic if you study only, but it’s absolutely possible.

Upbeat

Total Learning helps you develop the skills you need to step-up your career.

Serious

Total Learning provides a skills-based approach to your career development needs.

Start your elearning journey today

Asking a few simple questions before you begin writing your course will keep you on track to engaging and effective online learning.

Get in touch with us to start your elearning journey today.

Custom online learning developers