Determine the Learning Objectives

  • Create Learning outcome based modules. A course can have multiple modules.
  • Each module should cover/based on only one outcome.
  • Each module should be complete for the given learning outcome.
  • At the end of each module, I should have learnt a skill. In rare cases, it can be a concept. But the ‘why’ and how to apply the concept should be covered.
  • When chunking content, ensure that the learners get the meat quickly and it is upfront.
  • Start learning objectives with action verbs.
  • The learning objectives of the material must be defined according to the learning identified. Those objectives should respond to the learning needs detected and should be used to evaluate the success of the learning material. Therefore the material must be bound by expected learning outcomes. These learning objectives must be covered in terms of the knowledge, skills or any other relevant lessons that can be learned, and whether these are clinical or non-clinical. The learning objectives should be worded in both general terms, stating the general purpose of the activity and also worded in specific objectives, more detailed and tell what the students will be able to know once they complete the learning activity successfully. They must be assessable.
  • The material should address the stated learning needs and also indicate how this will be achieved with the justification of the learning method selected. It is necessary to define which learning methods and will be used in the material.

Appropriateness for intended audience

  • Accuracy – are the facts well documented and verifiable? Are there any obvious errors or omissions?
  • Uniqueness of Content — uniqueness of the resource as a whole, creativity, and usefulness in a variety of settings
  • All facts and data should be attributed to their original source by mentioning a reference.

Write Your Content
Writing should be:
–Clear
–Concise
–Crisp
–Coherent
–Complete
–Concrete
–Conscientious

  • Start your subject by stating the most important information. You may place the lesser important details in the following paragraphs.
  • Dispense with a long introduction. Remember the participants come for the content. The sooner you deliver the content, the sooner they will be engaged.
  • Determined if some content is expandable. Provide this content in other means, such as handout.
  • Consider points where you can engage participants or use interesting elements:
  • Make facts more interesting by adding value with explicit statements.
  • “Now here’s a fascinating piece of information…”
  • “What’s fun about this fact is that it lets you…”
  • Knowing what people care about may not be enough. You need to make people pay attention to what you are writing.
  • By clear we mean simple, but not simplistic. In a complex world, you must communicate complicated information in a simple and clear manner.
  • Do not write long sentences and put irrelevant information. Be precise and to the point. This saves the reader from getting confused and saves his time.
  • If you are not sure of a ‘fact’, check it. Don’t make the readers question the correctness of your claims. Unreliable or incorrect information harms the reputation of the organization.
  • Good content should be original; expressing the essence of the organization’s message, services and products. If the organization buys content from a third party, a quality assurance from that party should make sure it is in line with the quality standards of the organization.
  • Make sure you do not violate copyright laws when you state facts and information that may not have been produced or owned by you. Be fair to the source and give him credit by mentioning his name as plagiarism will invite legal hassles.
  • Use second person, active sentences (example: you…do…this).
  • Use a friendly, conversational tone.Include options for supplemental information. This could include:
    • Additional examples
    • Glossary
    • Links to relevant resources such as policy documents, a bibliography, or a list of relevant web resources
  • Identify all products or services with trademarks
  • List correct product or service names and usage
  • List industry acronyms and their proper usage
  • Be consistent in the use of terms and acronyms – spell them out in their first occurrence referring to the acronym in brackets (i.e. York University (York))
  • Identify what voice and tense should be used throughout – do you prefer first person or third?
  • Stay relevant! Only include information on the page that is relevant to the topic at hand
  • Put the most important information first
  • Use plain language to ensure information is reaching the target audience
  • Use one idea per paragraph with sub-headings so that the user has an indication of what they are about to read
    Keep blocks of text small and use action headings
  • To properly emphasize information, separate it from the rest of the content (with line breaks or a bullet list); bolding text can also be used sparingly, however, underlining text should be avoided
  • Use bullet points where possible
  • Avoid jargon.
  • If you are addressing a multicultural audience, avoid culture specific slang, colloquialisms and examples.
    Be sensitive to the fact that many learners are not native English speakers.

Language

  • Write as you talk. Informal language and contractions (e.g. don’t, we’re) can be used.
  • Minimize the use of compound sentences. When you see a colon or semi colon, examine the sentence to see if it could be made simpler and clearer by breaking it into shorter sentences.
  • Use personal pronouns (e.g. “you”) to refer to learners. This personalizes instruction and involves your reader.
  • Use gender inclusive, non sexist language
  • Use the active voice. In a passive construction, the agent of the action often disappears from the scene. Use the passive voice only when the active voice is unduly awkward.
  • Minimize the use of compound sentences. When you see a colon or semi colon, examine the sentence to see if it could be made simpler and clearer by breaking it into shorter sentences.
  • Use gender inclusive, non sexist language
  • Use the active voice. In a passive construction, the agent of the action often disappears from the scene. Use the passive voice only when the active voice is unduly awkward.
  • Use personal pronouns (e.g. “you”) to refer to learners. This personalizes instruction and involves your reader.

Grammar & Punctuation

  • Capitalize the first word of each sentence, otherwise capital letters should only be used to indicate proper nouns and acronyms.
  • Italics should not be used in titles or in bulleted lists in the right or left areas of the page, however, they may be required within the main content area of the page.
  • Only one space should be entered after a sentence (i.e. after a period), not two spaces
  • All spelling is in English (United Kingdom).
  • Titles/page headers should follow “title case”, meaning that all nouns, pronouns, verbs and all other words of four or more letters are capitalized
  • Title case the titles but do not capitalize:
    –Articles: a, an, the
    –Coordinating Conjunctions: and, but, or, for, nor
    –Prepositions (fewer than five letters): on, at, to, from, by
  • Use ‘and’ instead of ‘&’
  • Spell out numbers 1-9 instead and use numbers from 10 onwards
  • Avoid gerunds in the body of the text
  • Do not use the header as lead in – there should be a lead-in sentence after the header
    Bullets should be parallel
  • The options should end in a period only if they are complete sentences.
  • To maintain consistency of structure, word the options in a way that either all are phrases or complete sentences. Don’t have option sets that have a mix of phrases and complete sentences.
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