eLearning Content Proofreading: Don’t Trust Anything

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The other day, a colleague came up to me and asked me the how the word “sam-ma-ree” is spelt, which didn’t leave me surprised, floored, dumbfounded, or any of those adjectives.

What was entertaining though, in an otherwise mundane day, was the bemused look on his face. A storyboard was about to be sent to the client, and he had noticed what he thought was weird magical performance rendered by the standard spellchecker in the MS Word document.

The spellchecker thought the word Summery was perfectly fine.

Well, it was, and it is.

That’s because it’s a perfectly grammatically correct word, though rare in everyday usage. Remove the ‘y’ for a split second and you will see the obvious meaning. It simply means “Belonging to or characteristic of or occurring in summer”.

Sometimes, this is the way the importance of good old manual labour is highlighted while proofreading content in eLearning storyboards. What is not underlined in red often goes unnoticed. And F7 does not notice it either. Many content developers and proofreaders tend to miss this and end up wondering, mostly after the client feedback, how did such a simple thing slip through? It is because they relied too much on automation and ignored the old word-by-word manual check.

So next time you check your content, do not forget to honour the good old manual labour. Proofreading eLearning content is not rocket science, but it can be tricky as the curious case of my confused colleague shows.

Read each word both for its individual meaning and in the context of the content-and use the spellchecker only for the finishing touches. That is the rule by which I live by. Do you?

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