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The Takeaway Toolbox 2: basic customisation for improving takeaways

Key Takeaway: Use of bold and italics in your takeaway can help emphasise critical information contained within.

Good takeaways are a critical part of any Ed lesson. Now that your takeaway’s contents are up to scratch, it’s time to learn a few tips and tricks on how you can apply some finishing touches to improve yours.

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Our example takeaway reinforces the quality of Product X, and shows users how to talk about it in a real world scenario.

Basic customisation

A standard takeaway contains a short sentence or two which emphasise the key concept outlined by the question – in this case that although Product X is not the cheapest product, it is a quality product which should be sold at a high priority to customers. Emphasising the most important part of the takeaway using bold, italics or underline can give it more impact – making it clear that this is what the user should be thinking about.

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The eye is drawn to the most important message of the takeaway.

To bold text in Ed, surround the text you want bolded by two asterisks (**). Don’t worry – these asterisks won’t actually display in the takeaway, they just tell Ed that you want the text to be bolded here. For example, the above takeaway would look like this in the Ed LMS:

It’s important to help the customer understand that while Product Y is the cheapest product, Product X is a \*\*high quality product\*\* which would serve them better.

Similarly, if you want to italicise text, you just need to place one asterisk (*) on each side of the text. So if you wanted to use italics instead of bold to get your point to hit home:

It’s important to help the customer understand that while Product Y is the cheapest product, Product X is a \*high quality product\* which would serve them better.

Basic customisation – considerations

There are some important considerations to factor in when customising your takeaway, or your ‘improvements’ could end up making it look bad instead.

Firstly, you need to pick at most one or two pieces of information to highlight. If too much of the takeaway is emphasised it looks messy, and the message gets muddled. The user is left confused as to what they should be focusing on. The entire takeaway may contain critical information, but that does not mean it should all be bolded.

Try thinking about which part of your sentence could make a bullet point summary of the key message of that slide, and use that as a basis to decide which part to emphasise. You could also consider only emphasising the part which tells the user the correct answer to the question.

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The eye is drawn to … well, everywhere. It’s a bit messy.

Secondly, you should use only one method of emphasising. A takeaway which contains bold, italics and underline lacks consistency and is jarring to read. There’s no need to use so many different styles in such a short piece of text; make a decision and stick to it throughout your lesson.

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Sometimes making a decision is hard, but be bold and pick one way to emphasise your text.

You may be thinking; “You haven’t shown me how to underline text yet and you’re already telling me about what not to do! Isn’t something missing?”. Underlining text in a takeaway is one of the customisations (amongst others) which you can learn about in the next takeaway toolbox article; advanced customisation.

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Next time on takeaway toolbox