Your personal consultants for online learning and instructional technology.


write compelling copy

     Writing effective online course copy differs from writing in any other medium. Because the web is, by design, interactive and screen-based, the ways that users cognitively process information varies from, say, the way that they read books. Effective writing for the web should follow guidelines that reduce eye strain, engage the reader, and allow him or her to process important points while inspiring independent thought.

     A course can be split into segmented lessons that allow users to pick and choose from the information that they need. Online learning is less about pushing out vast quantities of information blindly than empowering users to find more detailed targeted information on demand. Thus, rather than fulfilling a traditional role of lecturer, online instructors should view themselves more as facilitators that guide learners to the right resources and offer them strategies for processing or contextualizing information. Furthermore, writing within given lessons should be grouped into bite-sized bits that are easily consumable, don’t require a lot of scrolling, and don’t require readers to stare at one part of the screen for indefinite periods of time. People generally skim, rather than reading online, so it’s important to highlight the most important areas with color, fonts, and other indicators. You should always avoid Serif fonts like Times, opting for something easier on the eyes such as a Helvetica or Verdana.

     It’s important also not to write too formally in online courses. Internet culture is such that people are used to a warm, friendly, conversational tone, especially with the rise of blogs and other community-based social media. This can both engage the user and mediate the alienation that some students feel when familiarizing themselves with an online course for the first time. There are many other strategies that create good course flow and help guide users to information seamlessly, without getting them off-course, so to speak. We can work with you to design intuitive navigation and compose effective writing so that users can easily find and absorb information appropriately.