Writing Style for Print/TV vs Web

27 Jun 2008 (Fri)

ACCORDING TO USABILITY GURU Jakob Nielsen (Alertbox June 9, 2008), the differences between print/TV and Web can be summarized as lean-back vs lean-forward:

  • Print/TV is a passive medium. While reading publications or watching TV, readers/viewers want to be entertained. They are in relaxation mode and vegging out; they don’t want to make choices. People expect you to construct their experience for them. Readers/viewers are willing to follow the author’s lead.
  • The Web is an active medium. On the Web, users are engaged and want to go places and get things done. Users want to construct their own experience by piecing together content from multiple sources, emphasizing their desires in the current moment. 

Therefore, the writing style for Print/TV vs Web is:

  • Linear vs. non-linear.
  • Author-driven vs. reader-driven.
  • Storytelling vs. ruthless pursuit of actionable content.
  • Anecdotal examples vs. comprehensive data.
  • Sentences vs. fragments.
  • Big-picture learning vs just-in-time learning.
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Posted by J.K. in Design, Learning, Technology, Writing | View Comments |

Going online in a f2f class – Help or Distraction?

25 Jun 2008 (Wed)

STUDENTS, DO YOU GO ONLINE while attending a face-to-face (f2f) class? Where do you surf and what do you use? So far, has going online helped or hindered you (the learner), other learners and/or the instructor? What happens when your phones have Internet access too?

Photo CC by Eamonn on Flickr.com

Most likely, your class is NOT going to be as exciting as this one (left), where the professor gamely laid on a bed of nails while someone else tried to break a cement block on him with a sledgehammer! In such a case, you are likely to be distracted by a backchannel.

As Chris Lott put it, “…regardless of what a participant has at hand– a backchannel, a laptop, a cell phone, a book, or a set of Legos– they are not and never will direct 100% of their attention forward and they will find ways to create the attention cycles that characterize engagement. I was able to ignore… incompetent teachers just fine back when the only thing digital [we] had access to was a watch.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by J.K. in *Roundups, Design, Facilitation, Learning | View Comments |

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