Tag: writing

How Does the Writing Place Serve Distance Learning Students?

Introduction By day, I’m a Learning Designer in the School of Professional Studies. When I meet with faculty members who are designing or revising online courses, I often advocate for the needs of online students, saying, “Online students prefer X,” or “Online students need Y.” But wait, how do I know what students want or need if I’m not in a teaching role? Sure, there are research-based standards like Quality Matters, but I wanted to interface with adult and distance learning students directly and ask them those questions. What do you prefer? What do you need? So by night, I’m

Inclusive Language

Online education allows universities and faculty to open their doors to a wider audience of students than ever before. Students can earn a Northwestern degree without ever setting foot in Chicago, Illinois, or even the United States. This openness in education creates great opportunities, for students and faculty alike. The nature of online education, however, has also created a unique dynamic for students: they have near-total control over how much anyone knows about them. Students can choose whether or not to reveal their ethnicity, religion, disability status, location, and even appearance. Some students find this option to be freeing: they

The Importance of Style

What is style? For most people, “writing style” refers to the way a particular author writes–short sentences, flowery adjectives, or a conversational tone. Readers could never mistake Shakespeare for Hemingway or J.K. Rowling for C.S. Lewis. For editors, however, writing style means “the rules or guidelines a publisher observes to ensure clear, consistent presentation.” (APA Style Guide, p. 87) Style encompasses things like citation formatting, grammar, punctuation, numbers, spelling, abbreviations, and so on. While many people associate style guides with publications like journal articles or books, style is just as important when writing online, and especially in course sites. Why