Most of the scenario based e-learning courses provide bland feedback in the form of ‘yes, you are correct’ or ‘sorry, you are incorrect’. This judgmental feedback leaves learners feeling very frustrated. While they get to know whether they are right or wrong, they remain clueless of the reasons.
How can we ensure learners get to know the reasons apart from just being judged?
Show the feedback
Well, the trick is to show the feedback, not just tell it.
Instead of the bland ‘incorrect’ or ‘correct’,, show learners the feedback visually. What does that mean? In e-learning, we can call this ‘describing the results’.
Let me explain with a scenario.
Bob is a medical equipment sales executive who explained the product features, benefits, and price options to a prospect. Could he close the deal?
Let’s see what happens when we give feedback the usual way.
Telling the learner whether he is correct or incorrect with the reasons in a dialog box is the common practice many designers follow. But if learners see they are incorrect, they lose interest in proceeding further with the course. If they see they are correct, they hardly read the next words of explanation. In a way, learning becomes incomplete. Now let’s come to showing feedback or describing the results.
If Bob couldn’t make a deal, what are the possible reasons?
Bob did not follow the MAD technique and approached an official who has no authority to take a decision.
Make it realistic
Instead of an impersonal background voice or pop-up dialog box to give the feedback, feedback coming from a person who has a role in the scenario makes it realistic.
David, Senior sales executive: Bob, you need to know the MAD (Money, Authority and Desire) techniqueto approach a qualified prospect.
This small change will describe the result in a realistic way and make a strong impression on the learners’ minds.
‘Give it another try’
If learners choose an incorrect option, it is recommended to encourage them by saying ‘try again’, rather than just saying ‘you are incorrect’. If learners’ can make the correct choice on second or third try, the character in the scenario explains why they are correct now and why the previous options didn’t fetch the desired results.
Learners draw their own conclusions, and their conclusions are confirmed or corrected by showing the feedback. This is not redundant, rather a reinforcement of learning.
Telling correct or incorrect is like passing a judgment. This type of feedback delays learning. It doesn’t encourage learners to explore and learn from the consequences of their decisions. Showing the consequences or describing the results helps the learners to draw their own conclusions. However, they will be confirmed or corrected before completion of the course and this will reinforce the learning. Let the learners think for themselves, even if it is for a few seconds.
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