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Clear Communication in Teaching Material: An Introduction

In higher ed today, both students and instructors are contending with structural inequities, personal circumstances, and time pressures that make communication challenging. Your students are overwhelmed, and if the information you’re giving them is unnecessarily confusing, they’ll have an even harder time keeping up and staying engaged. At the same time, you might be producing material for your classes at the last minute and with little or no support, especially if you’re an adjunct or have a high teaching load.

In this free self-paced course by a professional editor (and former adjunct), you’ll get an introduction to revising your teaching material at the sentence and paragraph level to reduce communication barriers, focusing on three key areas:

  1. Formatting and emphasis
  2. Order and flow
  3. Clarity and brevity

Recognizing that time for course prep is limited, I address the types of changes that can make the biggest difference without too much extra work. These principles can be applied to anything written for a course, including syllabi, online course modules, lecture slides, assignment instructions, and test questions.

Course Format

This course is adapted from a webinar I presented in January 2024. Each module contains a portion of that video recording (with captions) followed by a lightly edited transcript. You can choose whether to engage through video or text – they each provide the same information. The four videos add up to around 30 minutes. There are no quizzes or assignments.

About Me

I’m a freelance editor who works with academics in the humanities on making their writing clearer and more effective for its intended audience, whether that’s students, fellow scholars, or the public. I also taught music appreciation courses as an adjunct from 2016 to 2023, so I’ve Been There.

To learn more about me and my work, click the button below.



Course Outline