Key takeaway: There are multiple ways you can present long form text to your learners in Ed lessons.
While Ed is all about delivering perfectly crafted bitesized microlessons, sometimes you find yourself needing to deliver long pieces text to your learners in one sitting.
Fortunately, Ed’s template based authoring tool provides you with a number of different options as to how to present this text to your learners. Read on to check out four different templates you can use to present long form text, and which use suits them best.
The Text and Images template
The Text and Images template presents your text all in one piece on one slide, where the user is prompted to scroll to read more (if the text is long enough that it does not fit on their screen). It also allows you to add images to pair with the text displayed, which is great for breaking up long stints of reading and avoiding exhausting your learners’ attention spans.
The best use of the Text and Images is when you want to present 2-4 paragraphs of text on a topic, and have some images available which you can pair with the text.
The Image Gallery template
While the Image Gallery template works great for presenting a collection of images associated with short pieces of text, it can also be used to present long paragraphs of text, without any images required.
When configuring the template, you can remove the images displayed, and just put text in the Caption field, which will display when your learner swipes to that tab within the Image Gallery template.
While the template was designed and optimised for displaying a short piece of text related to an image, you can make a number of customisations to the slide to perfect the way your text content.
First of all, markdown can be used to make text display as a title, at the head of the text displayed within the Image Gallery slide. To do this, simply prefix a line of text with a hash symbol (or two hash symbols, for a slightly smaller title), and a space. This will then be the title for that tab of the Image Gallery. For example, in the image shown above, the text "Leadership Styles" was configured in the LMS as:
# **Leadership Styles** (the
# to make the following text display as the title, and the
**’s to denote that the text should be bolded).
By default, text entered in the Image Gallery template is center aligned, to suit the “caption” behaviour it is designed for. While using the Image Gallery template to deliver long form text, you may want to align content to the left instead. To do so, input
<p align="left"> at the start of any paragraph which you would like to be aligned to the left, and end the left alignment with
Finally, the prompt by default tells the learners to "Swipe to see more images." If you have any gallery tabs without images, it’s best to change the prompt to "Swipe to continue", to more accurately reflect the content of the slide.
Using the Image Gallery template in this way is great, because it breaks up the reading your learners need to do by separating it into separate parts of the “gallery”, and also introduces a different way for them to interact with their content (swiping instead of tapping, scrolling or dragging), which is great for increasing engagement with the lesson.
The Text Sequence template
The Text Sequence template is great at presenting one paragraph of text in memorable, manageable chunks (using the principles of progressive disclosure).
Use this template when you want to highlight just one paragraph of text in an interactive way.
The Expandable List template
When you want to display a list of related items which go in depth into each topic, Expandable List is your go-to template.
In Expandable List, you can create a list of items which displays when the learner arrives on the slide, in which each item can be tapped to reveal more information below. This interaction method works well, as it provides learners with an overview of all the information available to them on that slide, and allows them to approach each one in an order of their chosing.
- The Text and Images template best suits situations where you want to deliver long form text, and have some images ready to associate with them
- The Image Gallery template works best for when you want to deliver paragraphs of related text, without having to use images to break up the content (and are ready to use markdown to perfect your content).
- The Text Sequence is great at emphasising one paragraph of important text to your learners.
- The Expandable list template is best for when you have a lot of text on one topic, related to different subcategories which can be expanded on.
How do you display long pieces of text in your lessons? Let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org and we may feature it in a future academy article!