Writing for eLearning

Your opening paragraph has made learners keen to engage in your learning so they can travel to a happy destination to attain confidence in their performance.

But even if learners are keen to learn more, they’re still easily distracted, so you still have to keep them engaged throughout your Modlette. 

You can keep learners engaged with 4 types of glue:

  1. Seeds of Curiosity:  Curiosity is a powerful human emotion, and I don’t mean gossipy stuff.  Curiosity is also about a wish to learn and get answers to questions.
  2. Reminders of the happy destination:  The happy destination explains to learners why a learning point matters to them and why completing your Modlette is worthy of their time.
  3. Examples:  Examples are the sport stars in your writing.  They help learners visualise your advice, making it easier to implement your learning.  They make the reading experience rich and rewarding, and by selecting examples from your own experiences, you add personality to your writing.
  4. Clinchers:  At the end of a section clinchers summarise the learning points and encourage learners to apply the learning point to their own situation.  Clinchers remind learners how much they are learning from you.

How to use Seeds of Curiosity

  • We often use sub-heads to promote curiosity:  Promote readability with short and broken sentences.  This subhead promises a benefit: that you’ll learn how to make your training more readable, which is one step towards the happy destination of writing eLearning that works.
  • Seeds of curiosity can be used at the end of a section or even in the middle of a section.  They can be questions like:
    • Shall I explain?
    • Does this seem hard?  It doesn’t need to be . . .
    • So, what’s the best way to [achieve this]?
    • Why was (this) happening?
    • But how can we do this?

Seeds of curiosity can also be short statements that encourage people to read on; such statements are often followed by an ellipsis:

  • But what’s more . . .
  • But there’s another trap . . .
  • Here’s how to get started . . .
  • Let me explain . . .
  • It gets better . . .

So it’s perfectly fine to use only your subheads.  To arouse curiosity and make people read on.  But if you like, you can also use short questions and short statements (like above) to arouse curiosity and keep learners captivated.