6 tips for effectively proofreading your e-learning

Renate de Jonge

You have put a lot of days and hours into creating the content for your online training: brainstorm sessions, lots of storyboards and a curriculum, the right imagery has been selected or made, the content has been written and all of the interactive elements are present. So far so good! 

Now it is time to check your training for consistency, style, grammar, and spelling, which is how you make sure your hard work is perceived the right way. There are 6 tips in this blog for the optimal proofreading experience.

 

1. Create the ideal proofread atmosphere

Find a quiet spot with no distractions. Really isolate yourself for a moment and try to resist all urges to quickly check your e-mail, and silence your smartphone so you won’t look at it every time you get a notification. This is how you put yourself in the perfect mood to proofread your work, focused and ready to correct any mistakes and inconsistencies that you can find. It is advised to take breaks regularly, during which you can go outside for a moment with a cup of coffee or tea to move around and give your eyes and brain a quick break. 

 

2. Be cautious of frequent mistakes

We all have little quirks when it comes to writing. Maybe you have a problem with their and they’re or write your when it is supposed to be you’re. Whatever they may be, be aware of these frequent mistakes and be extra cautious of them when you’re proofreading. 

 

3. Read the content of your online training out loud

Reading your content out loud is a great way to track down typos or punctuation mistakes. Do you notice you’re automatically pausing while reading a (longer) sentence? Maybe a comma is needed there. You can also easily filter out all typos when you’re reading out loud, and find out whether your sentences flow well. A sentence that reads well when read in silence may sound unnatural when read out loud.

 

4. Start at the end

Start at the end of your online training and work backwards while proofreading. By doing so, you trick your brain into thinking that it’s reading new content and you will discover possible mistakes easier.

 

5. Do not completely trust automatic spell checks

You might think: ‘Why would you put in all this work while automatic spell checks exist?’. Unfortunately this spell check is not fully trustworthy. For example, sometimes a word is spelled correctly, but used in the wrong context. Or you have accidentally used the same verb twice in your sentence. Of course you can make use of the red line underneath incorrectly spelled words, but make sure you stay focused while reading your work. 

 

6. Ask someone else to proofread your work as well

It is essential to ask a colleague if they want to proofread the newest version of your e-learning. No matter how focused you are, your brain is familiar with almost every line of text and will ignore certain mistakes. For a second reader all of the text is new, which means they will recognise the mistakes your brain does not register anymore. Besides that, you can ask your second reader whether they think any topics are missing or mentioned too often. This is an extra opportunity to perfect your online training.

Want to get started with e-learning yourself? We are happy to take you on a platform tour and show you how to set it up during a demo. Learn everything about the online academy, so that you can grow as an organization!