Nandini Bandopadhyay and Sarbani Mukherjee, Senior Specialists – Instructional Design at Tata Interactive Systems write in their response to the Learning Circuits Blog’s Big Question for April: What would you like to do better as a Learning Professional?
Write. Seems an odd answer, considering this is what we do for a living! Yet writing interesting instructional content still seems to be a challenging task. So we wish we could write better.
It’s a big responsibility us learning professionals have — to use words to teach the most complex of content to someone sitting thousands of miles away. The big questions, thus, never seem to go away — Is my writing good enough? Will my writing improve the learner’s online experience?
But there’s technology and there are graphics, some of you may say. Text is not the only medium of instruction. While that’s a fair argument, what one can’t deny is the power of effective writing. Not dumbing down the content to suit the audience, but redefining style for a greater good.
So what do we mean by ‘better writing?’ Using words effectively, learning the art of presentation, striking a balance between substance and style, and saying more in fewer words. But hang on! That’s not all. There’s the all-important task of making the learner ask for more. Of making him (or her) curious about all things mundane. Think this can’t be done? Read on…
Think about school days. (OK! We accept that’s a whole lot of years ago…) Those history lessons, lines from King Lear, or inventions that changed our lives forever… We remember these because some of our teachers were great storytellers. Their anecdotes brought to life the dark ant-like letters in the textbooks. They unleashed the power of imagination.
To reach across to the other side, we need to do just that. Look for a twist in the tale to keep the interest alive. And we need to mind the gap. Which brings us back to where we started. Our desire to write better. To tell good tales where the content allows, to create good scenarios to make drab content come to life, to use words to do what we set out to do… teach. At the end of the day, isn’t that what this is all about?