Checklist for Content Standardization in eLearning – Part I

Checklist for content standardization in eLearning- Part I

While designing an eLearning course, there are a number of important things an Instructional designer needs to consider, the quality of the learning content and the ability to present the information in a clear manner and maintaining consistency throughout the course.

So any redundancies and errors in grammar, punctuation and language can distract the learners from paying the attention to the actual point, and thereby become a threat to the successful completion of the course.

This can be prevented by crafting a style guide for course development. A Style Guide (or Style manual) is a pre-defined document that contains a set of standards that defines how instructional designers should handle grammar, writing, and formatting issues in an eLearning course.

A Style Guide provides information on different aspects such as grammar and its usage, fonts and layouts, and graphic design. There are four sections to this style guide related to instructional designers:

  • Grammar
  • Sentence structuring
  • Style
  • Other guidelines

In this blog, I would like to discuss about the Grammatical rules that every instructional designer should follow while developing the storyboard.

  1. Can be used in a bulleted list
  2. In case of paragraphs and descriptions, it is recommended to spell out the all the words
  3. Can be abbreviated in case of headings
  4. Avoid using Latin abbreviations
  5. Use single period when a sentence ends with an abbreviation
  6. Use period after abbreviation, when the last letter of the abbreviation is not the last letter of the original word
  7. Do not use period for abbreviation, when the last letter of the abbreviation is the last letter of the original word
  1. Recommended to spell out the complete words along with the acronym. Thereafter you can then use acronyms in capital letters
  2. There should not be any spaces or periods between the letters
  1. In case of titles, capitalize all the proper nouns and all words except articles, conjunctions, and prepositions.
  2. In case of hyphenated compound words (For e.g. Pre-announcement), capitalize the first element but do not capitalize the second element.
  3. If there is a dash or colon in the middle of the sentence, do not capitalize the first word.
  4. When the prepositions, conjunctions are emphasized, you can capitalize them.
  1. Use an oxford or serial comma before the last item in a series.
  2. Before a conjunction or series of complex sentences, use comma after each sentence for clarity.
  3. Use commas when you want the reader to give pause in the sentence.
  4. Use comma to separate the sentence, when more than one word precedes a noun.
Hyphens and dashes
  1. Use hyphens and dashes in case of phrases
  2. Compound modifiers should be hyphenated
  3. En-dashes are used to indicate the range where as an Em-dash is used to separate breaks in a sentence
  1. Use Italics, when you want to:
  2. Emphasis a particular sentence
  3. Titles of the document
  1. Maintain parallelism when splitting the points into bulleted lists
  1. Give space between the number and their units of measurement
  2. You can use numbers in a bulleted lists or specs, but make sure to spell out the entire number in the audio.
  1. The period should come inside the parentheses when a parenthesis encloses a complete sentence.
  2. The period should come outside the parentheses When an enclosed phrase comes at the end of an including parenthesis.
Quotation Marks
  1. Use quotation marks only when you are quoting.
  2. Do not use quotation marks when you are emphasizing, instead use italics to emphasis a particular word or a sentence.
Semicolons and Colons
  1. Use semicolons to join two independent clauses and also after a word introducing an explanation, example, quotation, and a list or series.
  1. Abbreviate in case of bulleted list
  2. Spell out the word in the audio
Units of Measurement
  1. Abbreviate in case of bulleted list
  2. Spell out the word in the audio
  1. Recommended to use active voice as it is easy to read and write
  2. If possible, change passive voice to active voice

These are a few rules that need to be followed with respect to grammar. In my next blog, I will share more points on sentence structuring, style, and other guidelines. Please do share your thoughts and stay tuned to the second post.

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