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Impact of Weak Instruction on Learners

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Impact of Weak Instruction on Learners

Sometimes, organizations provide instructions that are often content heavy. These instructions, regardless of the delivery platform, are quite boring and tiresome, making the learning event weak and ineffective with hardly any opportunity to practice. This is not the only problem; the worst part is they are costly and wasteful. Also, they have negative effects on learners.

Michael Allen, in his book ‘Leaving ADDIE for SAM’, has listed some effects that ineffective instruction has on learners. In this blog, I would like to summarize these effects.


For an effective learning event, attention of the learner is very important. There would be no learning if there is no attention. Ineffective instruction reduces the learner’s ability to stay attentive, which results in the reduction of the learner’s desire to learn and the will to practice.

In e-learning, deciding an appropriate instructional strategy is very important, because a wrong instructional strategy leads to an ineffective or weak course, which makes a learner inattentive.

Negative attitude

Ineffective or weak instructions result in deficiency in learning while the learner starts having aversion toward the instruction method. Some dislike the classroom instruction methods and some dislike e-learning instruction methods only because of their experience with ineffective or weak instructions. Heavy on-screen content and weak screen-level strategy mainly lead a learner to dislike the instruction method in an online course.

Subject aversion

Ineffective or weak instruction increases the chances of learner aversion toward the information presented. This would result in learners failing to acquire important skills and knowledge, which could lead to failure in the assessments. This, in turn, can obstruct the learner’s future learning plans.

In case of topics that are very new to the learner and he needs to apply the learning in his jobs, you should be very careful in choosing the right instructional strategy for corporate training, because an inappropriate one may cause subject aversion.

Learner disrespect

Learners feels disrespected if they are asked to undergo learning with ineffective instruction. As learners always try to find easy ways of learning, these ineffective instructions may result in them trying to avoid going through the learning events.

Importance should be given on understanding how much the learner already knows and what more he has to know. Courses where you try to teach what the learner already knows or where you do not focus on what’s new make the learner feel disrespected.

We always come across such ineffective instructions either because of the lack of focus on content presentation and comprehension or because of the outdated delivery methods used by instructors or instructional designers. And all these affect not only the learner but the organization as well, wasting a lot of both time and money.

Hope you find this blog interesting and helpful. Please share your thoughts through your valuable comments.

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