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User Review of New Short Course: "Grammatically Speaking"

Can you remember the last time a training session made you legitimately laugh? Yeah, me neither. Maybe it’s the inside jokes or maybe it’s a shared sense of humor, but TypeWell’s newest LEO course, Grammatically Speaking: Lists & Serial Elementsis not only hilarious but highly informative. 

With a variety of testing models, this course is packed with helpful hints and strategies for both the new and the seasoned transcriber. 

Every transcriber has encountered the type of speaker I refer to as the "Dreaded Rambler," the panic-inducing lecturer whose tangential nature makes your palms sweat and your eye twitch. While the Rambler addresses every topic under the sun at once, you and the students are left in a desperate attempt to make sense of the lecture material. The "Lists & Serial Elements" course tackles this real-time terror through the tried-and-true (but often forgotten) strategy of list making.

Guiding you fluidly through the do’s and don’ts of list-making is Grammatically Speaking’s creator Jason Kapcala, the bald and beautiful Coordinator of Auxiliary Aids for West Virginia University’s Office of Accessibility Services. Kapcala further demonstrates the multifaceted ways in which lists can reduce the stress of transcribing a high-impact lecture while making sense of it all.

Other oft-debated topics discussed within this course include the Oxford comma, the semicolon, and the use of punctuation involving adjectives. 

When do we use a semicolon in lists? Should we use the Oxford comma? What is an Oxford comma? (I didn’t know it had a name!) The use of humor, although engaging, helps make Kapcala’s tips for dealing with these grammatical tricksters spring quickly to mind. While these problem children of the grammar world may seem like mere mechanics or technicalities, Grammatically Speaking explains how the misuse of these tactics can be confusing to readers, especially if English is not their first language. 

As a relatively new transcriber, I found this course exceptionally beneficial to my peace of mind. An off-topic, circuitous instructor can easily throw any transcriber into a tailspin of anxiety and second-guessing, especially in a course that is jargon heavy or experiencing a time crunch. This course helped me feel more equipped to overcome the intensity of a difficult course or speaker.

Built on the recently upgraded LEO platform (Learning & Enrichment Online), the course’s easy-to-use mechanics and exuberant humor will have you cruising through this 2½ hour course. While this course does have a seamless flow of valuable information, it is also easy for the harried transcriber to pause and return to the session. The variety of testing formats help to lock in the information while keeping it fresh—no dried-out beef jerky here!

At the reasonable price of $25, this course is well worth your sanity. 

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Nicole Fuller

Nicole Fuller is a Transcriber for West Virginia University’s Office of Accessibility Services.

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