As instructional designers, learners are the center of our universe, and everything we create is of the learner, by the learner and for the learner. But, at times, we create courses that drive our learners insane! There are times when we unintentionally do more harm than good with the courses we create. Let’s have a look at four annoying eLearning design practices that drive learners insane!
Remember, when you were a kid in school and you hated it when your teacher was repeating every little thing written on the board, boring wasn’t it? Well, the same happens when you narrate your course word-by-word. You’re practically repeating the same points that are available on the screen, and there is nothing new that your learner can grasp. You can avoid this is by having a right balance of text and audio for your eLearning course, and the “recommended ratio of on-screen text and audio narration is 70:30″.
For the next annoying habit, let’s take a cue from advertisements. Have you ever seen a TV advertisement that runs beyond 60 seconds? Even if it did, I am very sure you changed the channel. Now, imagine you’re taking an eLearning course where you have an “endless” slide that simply goes on and on. You’re bored, and you decide to move on to the next slide. But wait! You can’t go to the next slide because you’re restricted. The logic behind restricting the learner is that he will not watch the slide if the navigation is free. However, on the contrary, your learner is more likely to learn from your course when he is in control of and not “imprisoned” in the slide. So, give your learners unrestricted navigation to blossom and learn.
Have you ever come across a Q&A session that responds to your answer with only “Yes. You’re right or No. You’re wrong? We are inquisitive and want to know why something is right or wrong. Now, think how we end up killing our learners’ inquisitive thought process when we use quiz questions that provide no feedback! Merely telling the learner that he is right or wrong isn’t enough. What if your learner makes a lucky guess and wonders why the answer is right? The right or wrong answer won’t be enough to end his curiosity. Always remember to provide proper feedback for both the right and wrong responses for your quiz questions. Never miss a chance to reinforce a learning point.
Our visual strategy is just as important as our instructional strategy. However, many a time, we forget this point and decorate our course like a Christmas tree! Graphics add life to the text and take your learning point a notch higher. For example, having a picture of a file just because your slide is talking about documenting records no way enhances your learning point. Remember that using graphics as decorative elements will only take your learner away from your learning point. Graphics should always be in tune with the on-screen text.
Hope you find this blog interesting. What are the eLearning design practices that drive you insane? Please feel free to post a comment below.
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