Most instructors are very good at delivering oral cues to identify the most important parts of their instruction. You will hear phrases such as “The first major point is…”, “Note this point…”, “This point is very important for understanding…”and “This point will be on the test.” These oral cues help focus student attention on the important elements. Distance educators should be more intentional about writing cues and directional language in their courses. This should help focus attention on major points while excluding details.
Some additional ways to identify important elements in a distance course include:
- Use bold text to identify important elements
- Use numbered lists
- Use headings to identify important elements
- Provide an outline of the material to give a big picture view
- Insert intentional pauses in the material to allow the student to process information
Svinicki, M. (2004). Learning and motivation in the postsecondary classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass