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THE THREE BIG BLUNDERS IN E-LEARNING DESIGN

and How to Avoid Them

1. Do not add extraneous information


Greedo’s Backstory

em Greedo was that green alien Han Solo shot in Star Wars, that’s all you need to know about him. You don't need his life story to get the movie. In scenario-based learning, it is tempting to add too much detail that does not support the learning objective.



Instead, keep only what supports learning


Kill Your Darlings


Learning is the thing, anything else is noise. KYD is an expression taught in creative writing. It means getting rid of anything that does not support the story, no matter how pretty or clever it is. The same is true when designing learning, everything must support the learning objectives.




2. Avoid unnecessary clicks


Big Maze, Little Cheese



Avoid needless clicks, flashy intros, voice-overs that can’t be muted, sub-navigation, or anything else that gets in the way of learning. If you use a click to reveal, make sure the reveal answers a question and does not just rehash the same material



Remove barriers to information


Who hasn’t been frustrated by customer service phone menus? Don’t do that to the learner. Give them the right information, at the right time, and in the right format, without punishing them. Keep your design simple and consistent. Each click should have value and purpose.


3. Avoid wordiness


Terms and Conditions Apply


Training, especially compliance training sometimes tries to pack so much into one shot – like a full spectrum vaccine. The worst is, at the end of this laundry list, asking the employee to certify they have read and understood everything. Activities and performance are the proof, not attestations.



Instead, use word economy


1,2,3


One topic at a time, reinforced by two approaches or lessons, no more than three objectives per session. For example, this infographic has one topic (i.e., effective instructional design) it presents three learning points and explores each from two perspectives.


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