Text is the first media that most of us assoicate with education and learning (though of course graphics played a role before any of us learned to read). Since text has been so ubiquitous in learning it has escaped critical review. Decisions that we make as educators around how we use text for online education have significant impacts for the learning of our students.
As an online educator there are four components of text production for which you need to understand your role as a developer of text:
- content: the actual words, sentences and paragraphs you present to the students
- theory: the educational theory that guides your effort to provide a positive educational impact with your text
- pedagogy: the specific strategies you use with a given portion of textual content to enhance learning
- technical: the various methods (ie. HTML and styles) by which you build textual content to display online in accordance with your design
We will explore aspects of all these components. You may find some are more comfortable for you to tackle, while others (like the technical component) you prefer to leave to ‘helping’ aspects of technology – like the text editors that will help you achieve your desired visual presentation. In many instances what you learn here will be a sampling that will present you with a path to learn more on your own later.