Several large organizations and universities are using Hurley Write, Inc.'s online writing classes to train staff and students.
Hurley Write, Inc., a company that develops online and onsite writing courses, is creating online courses for large organizations and universities. One organization, America Reads--Mississippi, has 350 members; Hurley Write is also developing customized online courses for students of Canadian universities through MITACS, Inc., and for students at The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill (UNC). The course for MITACS is called "Bridging the Gap: From Academic to Business Writing," and focuses on helping students in various stages of their academic careers transition from academic to business writing. When asked how such a course is designed, Pam Hurley, PhD, the founder and president of Hurley Write, Inc., said, "We basically introduce these students to basic business writing concepts, including language use and writing emails and business reports, to get them to the point where they can transition easily from the academic world of writing, which is often verbose, to the world of business writing, which values clarity and simplicity."
Hurley Write has developed several courses for UNC, including a course on grant writing. Such a course, said Hurley, "focuses on helping students really flesh out the specific aims. It offers students the ability to write and revise multiple times after they get feedback on their writing." Thus far, Hurley's track record is excellent: "of the students we've helped with their grants, all have been funded. Not to say, of course, that we can guarantee that, but we're proud of how we've helped."
Hurley was asked how the company managed to create a course for 350 people that provided feedback on the writing that the America Reads members submitted. Hurley laughed and said, "We were able to create customized modules that focused on their needs and short writing samples that addressed topics that they had to write about for their service. Responding to 350 writers wasn't easy, but the evaluations of the course were very positive. In fact, we're doing it all over again in the fall!"
More companies are using online training, according to Hurley, due to budget cuts and the like. "Online training is very 'green,'" she says. "Our courses offer the best of both worlds:participants do everything online and still get lots of individual attention."