Write it so they read it

Good writing is an essential part of good learning. Here are some basic rules for you to follow.

1. Know your audience

Know Your Learners

Knowing who your audience means that you can adapt the content of your writing to address the main concerns of your audience. 

After understanding the needs and preferences of your audience, you can easily identify the potential topics that matter the most to them.

You can either conduct a freestyled conversation with your colleagues (potential learners) or run a survey to gather the information. In Easygenerator, we provide basic question types as highlighted below to get the needed answers from your learners.

Question Types

  • Open Survey: You can use Fill in the blanks and Open question types for open responses.
  • Closed Survey: You can use Multiple choice question types for a consensus.

Know their Needs - Template

Consider the following questions before you start preparing the content:

  • What does your audience need to know to accomplish a particular task? 
  • What is their desired outcome? 
  • What do you need them to do better/more of?


  • According to you, what is most important to them? 
  • What will help them the most?
  • What are they least likely to care about?
  • What are their painpoints/barriers that you can help with?



2. Have a clear goal

Learning Objectives

This is the first and probably the most important tip of all. You need to set a goal for your course or assessment. What will your learners be able to do (or know) after they have taken your course? It's a must-have!  Your goal is not the same as a learning objective. 

  • In general terms, the goal will describe what your learners will be able to do after completing the course. 
  • In order to reach that goal, the learners will probably have to complete several learning objectives. They are specific and measurable. 

Learning Objective Maker

We provide a free tool called Learning Objective Maker to help you define the objectives easily.

Example

Here's an example of learning objectives taken from an Onboarding course:

A big warm welcome to Studio. We're delighted to have you on board, and we hope you're settling in nicely.

When you've finished taking this short course, you will:

  • be familiar with all the company basics
  • know where to find the resources you need to do your new job effectively
  • have all the names of your fellow team members under your belt

Have fun!

3. Sequence the information

What's the right order of information?

Put yourself in learner's shoes and then think about the order in which the information should appear. 

Start with the key information on top of your page (Introduction), details in the second part (Details) and the tiny details as last (Summary).

Example

Here's an example of how information can be sequenced, taken from an Onboarding course:

At Studio, we offer ground-breaking solutions that allow our customers to:

  • predict their needs with astonishing accuracy
  • automate their manufacturing processes with our SMART systems approach
  • ensure just the right level of human intervention at just the right time
  • improve the effectiveness of their business decisions

4. Write Short simple sentences

Guidelines on Content Length

Course 

As per our research findings, it is recommended not to use more than 1,000 words per course. Here are specific guidelines:

Heading

Try keeping your headlines under six words.

Sentence

No more than 20 words per sentence. Ideally, no more than 25% of your sentences should exceed 20 words. 

Paragraph

150 words per paragraph and use headings and subheadings.

Sub-Section 

Use 300 words per sub-section.

Example

Here's an example of content (paragraphs, sub-sections, sentences etc) taken from an Onboarding course:

Elizabeth Eynon (Head of Human Resources)

Elizabeth's actual job title is "Head People Person": Her specialty? "I just love putting myself in other people's shoes. It's something I'd recommend to anyone." You might say that, when it comes to empathy others, she walks the talk!

Elon Good (Chief Financial Officer)

Elon's the one who follows the money for Studio. He confesses to running a tight ship, but as he like to say: "It's not about the money, money—it's all about the people." That's why everyone loves him.

Logan Jackman (Chief Technology Officer)

Logan is behind the technology that's behind Studio's ground-breaking process-automation software. He may look like he has recently quit a boy band, but as he says himself, appearances can be deceptive: "Warm and fuzzy outside—nerdy as they come inside." Oh, and did we mention? He's also passionate about leveraging technology to make people's lives easier. 

Emma Sharma (Chief of Design)

Emma owns the design of the entire product suite. She manages no fewer than 12 design teams. Count them—12! And still she finds time to roll up her sleeves and get stuck into UXD prototyping-slash-brainstorming sessions with her teams in the sprawling design space. "It's like Brecht said: I love production, because you never know what's going to come out in the end." Well we know: whizz-bang next-gen products!

5. Create Searchable Content

Learner Friendly Content

Facts 

In a research by Degreed, it was found that 47 percent of learners search the internet for answers to their questions, compared to only 28 percent who use their company’s LMS. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the content isn’t on the LMS; it’s simply NOT searchable. 

Role Play

Given the fact that you are explaining a topic, based on your real-time experience - it is a lot easier for you to get into the shoes of the learners. Let's do a quick role play and answer the below questions from a learner's point of view: 

  • What sort of information would you look for?
  • How would you search for this information? 
  • Which internal portal might you use for this purpose? 
  • What sort of keywords would you key in? 
  • What sort of information would you expect? 

Start Writing

The above questions should help you find the right angles to frame and position your course content. Instead of being Search Engine Friendly, you would make the content Learner/user friendly so that the information is well catered to the right audiences. 

6. Use the Active Voice

Importance of voice

Using active voice while writing your content presents your ideas in a straightforward way,  because it creates a clear image in the reader's mind of who is doing what.

Example of Active Voice 

The mechanic fixed the car.

Example of Passive Voice 

The car got fixed by the mechanic.

Example

Here's an example of writing content in Active voice, taken from an Onboarding course:

Meet your buddy

Rebecca is your new buddy. She's here to help you get to know the ropes. If you're looking for help or advice, she can either help you directly or point you in the right direction.  With Rebecca as your buddy, you'll be able to get cracking in no time.

Rebecca's been with us for more than five years, and now heads up the digital-marketing group within your business unit. Her contact details are in your inbox!

7. Use Images and Videos

Engage your Learners

Use images and videos along with your content. This enhances the learner engagement significantly and allows them to remember better. 

Content Types

Easygenerator provides a flexibility to mix and match various content types to create the engagement effect for the learners. For instance, you can choose to combine text with an image or a video or an interactive visual and so on. You can explore our sample courses for ideas.

Example

Here's an example of engaging learning content taken from an Onboarding course:

Over the years...

Our story began more than 30 years ago. We teamed up with KKD Trust in the early 90s, and following the merger of the two companies in the early 2000s, we won a number of prestigious awards for the pioneering work we'd done—and that we continue to do to this day.

8. Always have your course reviewed before you publish it

Peer Review

After you create your content, get it peer reviewed by your colleagues to solicit feedback and improve your content. Often times, we may be operating from a writer's bias and may oversee few obvious faults. These mistakes are usually taken care of during your review process.

Review

In Easygenerator, we offer a feature to foster the collaborative content creation and also facilitate peer reviews. Here's where you can find it in the tool: