Over the past year, we’ve been working with Sam, an English student at Sheffield Hallam University. What has she been doing? Well, this is her blog post. Read it to find out.
If you travelled back a year in time, I would be able to confidently look you in the eye and tell you that I had no idea what e-learning was. Unsurprising, since I’m an English Language student, and haven’t got any employees that I wish to train. For companies who need well trained staff to ensure their work goes smoothly, however, the e-learning industry is a useful field full of people well trained in the art of teaching through electronic devices.
Now, I won’t go into the intricacies of the e-learning industry and what it is – that you can check out here. During my time with Relish Learning, I have been researching the ways that e-learning companies present themselves on their websites, and the ways that this affects client’s perceptions of their services.
Overall, I’ve found that there are two very important goals to consider:
- An e-learning company must stand out as unique amongst other e-learning companies.
- An e-learning company must prove that they can provide skills that the company looking to hire them does not possess.
When we’re buying something we like to get the best value for our money, no matter what we may be buying, and an e-learning company’s website is one way to convince clients that they can provide just that! Now, in my English student mind, this begs the question of just how a company is supposed to do this and do it effectively. And that’s where language analysis comes in.
Before I get into the nitty gritty of how cool I think words are, I’d like to provide a formal apology to anyone that’s not had to deal with an English Language student before. We’re not all analysis, but we’re not far off.
The following are my initial findings on what makes an e-learning website good or bad, compiled by going through the language of as many e-learning websites as I could get my hands on:
Things That Are Good
- Clean and easy to navigate websites, so that customers can actually tell what you’re trying to sell them.
- Powerful language – the stronger the better. Adjectives that emphasise how engaging and responsive your techniques are, or modal verbs (verbs that show possibility) which show that you will love their product.
- Categorical assertions, which is linguistics talk for statements that leave no room for debate, go a long way in showing your company to be “the best in the business”. Especially since “the best in the business” is, in fact, a categorical assertion.
Things That Are Not So Good
- Confusing or irrelevant information. If you contradict yourself, especially if you do it within the same paragraph, chances are that customers won’t understand what you’re trying to sell them.
- Using words just to sound smart when they’re not appropriate. Just because the thesaurus says that the words have the same meaning doesn’t mean they actually do, and most people with think you’re just being pretentious if you say “superlative” instead of “best”.
- Poor grammar and spelling. By letting language slip in this way, companies will appear less credible to clients, since it’s hard to trust someone that can’t spell to teach others.
Of course, these are just my views, and it’s not like I’m the one buying these services! There’s only so far that analyzing a single viewpoint can take you, so to test how universal my opinions actually are, I’m conducting a survey to gather the opinions of others. If you want to check out said survey, click here! In a follow up post, I’ll be able to look at just how relevant my thoughts are, or perhaps how off base I really was.