Crafting Content for Learning Systems
Developing academic content for a learning system remains a specialized skill as the developer needs to be masterful with the language as well as the topic they write on. Crafting good content for a learning system can start with a small idea at hand and grow upwards, but without a balance in it’s design information becomes lop-sided.
How to Develop and Structure Purpose-driven Learning System Content
It’s not simple, can be made simplistic at max. Developing content for a learning system is a task that requires a greater amount of articulation than other types of web content. For such content the developer needs to always to-and-fro between information and creative interactivity. The idea is to get the audience’s left and right brains to play tennis with each other; escaping monotony is the key. Similarly, those of you dreading an academic content development task require to approach this systematically. Sure, the format and requirements of content for different learning systems vary in their key nuances, but the base objective remains the same.
What is the primary objective in designing content for a learning system?
Content design for a learning system or more specifically, an ‘e-learning system’, is structurally different than content produced for platforms with non-educative purposes. The objective of the latter is to advertise a service, or impart informational outlines on a subject — whereas — the objective of content in an e-learning context, is to engage the audience with the right combination of jargon and layman’s terms, layered with rich information in affordable amounts. What we can easily afford in experience, is better learning content than what we find hard to.
As opposed to other forms of content where the call-to-action appears as a conclusion, in a learning system paradigm, the call-to-action makes brief appearances throughout the body of the content before prominently appearing at the conclusion. The reader learns something or is directed to learn something, every step of the way.
So..hats off! To content managers, developers and editors interacting with learning system content creator. The levels of proactivity and decision-making systems that needs to be put into place make it an effort-worthy and significant contribution in the learning system itself.
What is the role played by an e-learning content actor?
Let’s not fool ourselves, your significance is that much as of a teacher. Learning system content requires a fair use of terms that are pertinent to the subject that is being taught. The content actor must think like an educator when they are imparting information and designing a knowledge flow for the audience.
Regardless of whether you are designing content to advertise a course or program, or drafting the content for the lesson itself, one must empathize with the learner. The intention is to highlight their real-time challenges, while also informing them of a practical solution through rich experiences.
Let us illustrate the objective with an example
Let’s say you are drafting a content, that pitches a doubt-clearance e-learning system for a Mathematics lessons; you cannot touch-and-go on the importance of the lesson alone. Bringing in real-time challenges, doubts and queries that students face from this lesson, to the forefront builds a circumstantial experience around which a learner may identify their information uniquely.
Then you cover brief details about the topics covered in the e-learning course, and the queries and doubts it seeks to end. The language must be simple but detailed with technical precision required to drive home the lesson.
Verbosity and wordiness must be limited in this aspect because for one, this is only an introduction to the course. However, even when you are describing course study material, the simpler, the better. Remember, the average digital reader usually skips the whole body of text and only focuses on the key-takeaways.
The framework for designing learning/e-learning content
To this effect, regardless of whether you are designing content to pitch an e-learning product, or designing content for an e-learning lesson itself, you can break down your content development approach in a manner that gives you control over your content.
You can ‘modular-ise’, create templates and drive further length and breadth to your core stories. I came across V3RB while discussing the sheer amount of redundant reference materials that content creators have to sift through in order to hammer out an informative article. When I tried V3RB upon their reference, the timescales for the task where drastically cut down, not to mention the final draft was easier to prepare than expected. You can say that V3RB is the core solution which allows you to experience and build your content systems in the format cited above; and the product will be available in early access soon to content creators everywhere.