Carol, who is a sales manager, has taken an e learning course recently. The course which she has taken had difficult navigation and didn’t allow her to skip the slides which she already has knowledge on. Forced learning made her frustrated and encouraged her to escape from taking the course. Ultimately Carol failed in getting certified on the course.
So, what is the reason behind restricting the course navigation? How will it benefit adults? Is it really mandatory? Will the learner learn more by forced or user friendly navigation?
We often hear these questions. According to adult learning principles it is said that adults are generally,
- Self – directed,
- Result oriented,
- Practical and
- Expect real time examples and
- Want hands on activities in the course
These principles help them to apply the acquired knowledge at work.
To teach adults, a course with restricted navigation will not be a good approach. Generally trainers think that, if the slides in the course are not restricted then users may click next through the course and complete it without learning the concepts. But if the course is restricted, we are forcing them to go through and learn each and every slide which may also include the concepts they already know. This leads to learner boredom. Instead we can use many strategies like case studies, scenarios, and also assess them in acquired knowledge.
A good eLearning course should be user friendly and self – directed which allows user to explore and learn the concepts and enhance learner’s learning experience. Learner should be given freedom to explore the course and learn in the way he wants instead of restricting her to learn in a predetermined order.
If there are mandatory courses like code of conduct, intellectual property etc., learners must know all the concepts. In such instances there can be two solutions.
Solution1: Instead of giving restriction for each slide, course can be designed with tough assessments. If the learner skips the slides he cannot get through the quiz which makes her go back to the course and learn the concept.
Solution2: Another solution is, we have to give lot of interactivities, real time examples, games to make it more fun to learn, case studies and scenarios to make the course more effective, so that learner is motivated to learn the concepts.
Therefore make your e-learning simple for the learners to navigate through the course. The course may be designed with lot of interactivities and may be very engaging but if the course has restricted navigation, learners will not be interested to take the training.