Best PracticesScriptwriting

7 Scriptwriting tips for e-learning in manufacturing

Use these scriptwriting tips to write more engaging and effective e-Learning scripts.

An e-learning script is different from other forms of scriptwriting because of its targeted audience and objectives, its use of interactivity and its focus on accomplishing real-life tasks.

These 7 tips can enhance the learning experience and help your learners achieve the desired learning outcomes.

  1. Write how people speak.
    The words you write are going to be read by a narrator. You want the audience to feel that the narrator is talking to them. Use language that the audience uses and words they understand. Be personable. Read what you are writing out loud and listen to how it sounds. Get rid of any unnecessary words. Write to be heard, not to be read.
  1. Share the learning objectives with the audience.
    Learning objectives let the audience know what is expected of them at the end of training. They state what the learner will know or be able to do once instruction is completed.Incorporate the learning objectives from the design document into your script. A good place to include them is at the end of the introduction before the content is presented. Learning objectives will help guide the audience and keep them focused on what is important. The objectives will keep you focused too.
  1. Use real-life examples.
    Real-life examples make learning relevant and help explain the content that needs to be presented. When the audience is able to relate training to a workplace situation such as the factory floor, they will be more engaged and motivated to learn. Use real-life examples that provide useful information and support the learning objectives.
  1. Break the content down into chunks.
    Breaking information down into bite-sized pieces makes it easier to process and remember. Organize and group like pieces of information together into learning chunks. For each chunk, ask yourself, “What do I need to include to support the learning objective?” Leave everything else out.
  1. Incorporate opportunities to test knowledge
    Simple quizzes can help the learner remember content and assess what was learned. Consider interspersing your script with knowledge checks. Provide meaningful feedback for each question.
    Quizzes can include:

    • True-or-false
    • Multiple choice
    • Matching
    • Fill-in-the-blank
    • Drag and drop
  1. Express information visually.
    Not everything has to be spoken. Visuals – videos, 3D-animations, graphics, and pictures – add value and enhance learning. They engage the learner and add depth to the learning experience. Choose visuals that help explain the content better and help meet the learning objectives.

    Use video to:

    • Model soft skills
    • Demonstrate how a product works
    • Show a step-by-step process
    • Feature comments from an employee, client, or SME
    • Contrast the right and wrong way of doing something
    • Tell an emotional story
    • Model best practices
    • Demonstrate a skill

    Use animation to:

    • Show the internal workings of a product or process
    • Simplify complicated concepts
    • Visualize a new product

    Use graphics to:

    • Communicate ideas
    • Explain abstract concepts
    • Organize information

    Use pictures to:

    • Show a concrete concept
    • Explain an example that does not require motion
    • Illustrate a real-life example
  1. Build in interactivity.
    Interactivity engages the audience and can add value to the content delivered. It gets learners to think and do. It turns passive learning into active learning. The more interactive your script, the more control the learner has over the training.

    Here are some common interactivity examples:

    • Ability to choose the order in which to see content
    • Rollovers
    • Clickable animated graphics
    • Links to external resources
    • Ability to print out job aids or documents
    • Simple exercises: drag-and-drop, matching, and fill in the blank
    • Scenario-based cases where the learner can enter in data or information
    • Use of educational games
    • 3D simulations that the learner can manipulate
    • Quiz questions with feedback

A good E-learning script presents relevant content in a way that engages the audience. Script improvement will enhance your courseware’s effectiveness. Share your e-learning scriptwriting tips below.

Ron Trilling
Author of Learning Lines | Founder and Partner, at Media Dynamics
Ron is a great source of information when it comes to eLearning. He has a background in instructional design and has worked with many companies to help develop their eLearning content and courses.
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  1. December 4, 2014 at 8:30 pm — Reply

    Well said! I see you also link to Cathy Moore, and I love what she has to say too.

    Your tip #1 (write how people speak) is a motto of mine. Just this week, I was talking with a colleague about not using the phrase “new value paradigm”, because it seems pretty meaningless. Instead, I suggested saying “new approach”. (Everyday words are the way to go, unless there’s some specific meaning you need to get across – which is rarely the case.)

    Would be interested in your thoughts on this list of shorter equivalents for common words and phrases. (You’re very welcome to leave a link back to your own posts if you’d like to.)

  2. Ron Trilling
    December 9, 2014 at 2:04 pm — Reply

    Concise, plain speak is the way to go. Thanks for your list of equivalents. They point out that we need to work at speaking simpler with the net bonus of clarity and impact.

  3. […] An e-learning script is different from other forms of scriptwriting because of its targeted audience and objectives, its use of interactivity and its focus on …  […]

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