Creating Clear, Concise, and Organized Language in Online Education
Professional certification, workplace training, and education continue to transition away from traditional classrooms. As courses move online, keeping your materials clear, concise, and organized is paramount.
Because student retention and satisfaction depend on it. Here are some tips on maintaining and continuing quality language for online education and resources.
Clarifying language and vocabulary for online education
The clarity of language is critical for effective education. Course materials should default to simplicity. Simple sentences and accessible vocabulary can improve learning speed and efficacy. Students can better grasp the subject matter when complicated ideas are explained in plain language. However, simple sentences can be a double-edged sword; using a uniform structure for every sentence can impair reading flow and distract from the material. Similarly, instructors should maintain a vocabulary that’s appropriate for the subject matter. Colloquialisms or slang should be avoided because they can cause confusion. Phrases like “everything but the kitchen sink” or “go bananas” can be confusing if interpreted literally, and they require cultural and linguistic familiarity. Instead, educators should strive for simple, clear language when creating certification and course materials.
Compressing language to reduce student fatigue and disengagement
Additionally, educational content should be concise, and instructors should be committed to brevity. This will ensure that the content is focused and accessible. While needless repetition and verbosity are often used in an attempt to clarify or emphasize, it can lead to fatigue and disengagement in students. Even something as simple as instructions to “study, study, study” can contribute to student fatigue. Educators should avoid filler language and compound or convoluted sentence structures. By winnowing content to what really matters, educators can improve learning outcomes.
Best practices for organizing educational materials
Sensible organization is important for educational materials, too. By chunking similar content and ordering those chunks from simple to complex, educators can promote favorable student attitudes and improved outcomes. Establishing and expanding on subject fundamentals is a proven technique in education. Even organization at the sentence-level can impact retention; for example, presenting the subject early in a sentence can simplify sentence structure and more clearly communicate meaning. For example, definitions will place the term after the meaning like “a metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word of phrase is used to suggest likeness or analogy without being literally applicable.” Logical organization should be a top priority for online courses, which heavily rely on self-direction; clear and obvious organization can make courses easier to navigate. Organization that is logical, sequential, and meaningful can improve the efficacy of all learning materials.
EdiPro is the chosen copyediting and proofreading service provider for industry-leading educators throughout the United States. We handle content that ranges from advanced nursing certification to elementary evaluation. No matter the subject matter, we can help strengthen the language of your class materials. Contact us to learn more about how partnering with EdiPro can improve your language and improve learning for your students.