Inclusive Language Guide (eLearning)

Inclusive Language Guide: Writing About Race & Ethnicity

This interactive eLearning project helps learners define, accurately use, and apply inclusive writing principles for commonly used terms about race and ethnicity. The project follows a character, Chris, who works at a textbook company and is designed for an audience invested in producing writing that is respectful, inclusive, and free of bias in either academic or other professional settings. 


The project was inspired by my college-level teaching experience when I noticed students in my literature and writing & composition courses struggled to use the correct terminology or follow widely encouraged punctuation rules when writing about these topics. 

The performance issue I observed was students confusing similar terms or writing them in ways that do not adhere to encouraged inclusive language standards (adding hyphens, missing capitalization, etc.), which could lead to communication issues or uncomfortable situations in professional settings. By conducting a needs analysis, I concluded this was from a lack of knowledge that could be resolved through an interactive style guide with which learners could learn about and practice using the most common definitions and rules in one place. 


Research and Analysis

I began by conducting research on commonly used terms and recommended writing principles, which have been updated in various style guides over the past few years as part of an increased effort towards anti-racist language. I put together a list of terms and conventions from my own experience observing common errors and after cross-referencing the AP Style Guide and other inclusive language guides from various universities (full list of works referenced available at the end of the project, screenshot shown below). 

Screenshot of the "Resources" page at the end of the project, which lists the references for this project.


After the research stage, I used Mindmeister to map out the possible sections of the eLearning project and their sequencing. This initial outline allowed me to receive feedback and make adjustments before I moved on to a more detailed storyboard. 

I created a detailed text-based storyboard, which outlined every slide that would appear in the project. The storyboard included drafts of on-screen text, on-screen content (such as buttons and illustrations), and interactions & programming for each slide. Because this guide handles the importance of language and the sensitive topic of race, the written text needed to be especially clear and intentional without sounding condescending or overly academic.

Screenshot showing a section of the detailed storyboard. 

Visual Mockup

I chose soft and muted colors for this project, using a color palette that wouldn't feel harsh or distracting from the content. Because I was new to Articulate Storyline at the time, I used Canva (which I was more familiar with) to create visual mockups. After the basic design, I uploaded the visual mockups as a PPTX file to Articulate Storyline.

Color palette and a partial screenshot of the visual mockup created on Canva. 


I developed the first section of the project (12 slides) as an interactive prototype. After receiving feedback on the functionality of the slides and the clarity of instructions for the interactive elements, I completed the development of the full eLearning project. I made adjustments along the way to make sure animations and hover states were consistent and that written instructions and interactions were intuitive or clearly signaled. 

Example information slide (first picture): next arrow button greyed out until the learner visits each text box vector to reveal the definitions. The terms are highlighted in green when the learner's mouse hovers over the text box and turn fully green when they have been visited. Clicking on a term reveals the definition in a new layer (second picture)


Drag and drop

Text entry

Multiple choice

Example interactive activity slides. To keep the learner engaged, I included a diverse range of interactions and knowledge-check activities such as hotspot, text entry, drag and drop, and multiple choice.