Designing interactive e-learning – a job aid

February 20, 2008

I am preparing for a 1/2-day workshop for a group of learning professionals who are responsible for creating e-learning for employees at their corporation. What I hope to do is provide concrete, practical information on how to build interactions into e-learning courses working within the capabilities and limitations of the authoring tools they use. Thought I could this little chart to illustrate humor. It’s modeled after the US Homeland Security Threat Level indicator. Usable? Yes or No? Could if be offensive?
boredom4.jpg
My inspiration…Wired

  • http://www.downes.ca/ Stephen Downes

    Hm. It’s still all courses. You don’t get out of the yellow if it’s a course.

  • http://www.downes.ca Stephen Downes

    Hm. It’s still all courses. You don’t get out of the yellow if it’s a course.

  • Adam Cunningham-Reid

    This looks great. I don’t think it’d be offensive at all. Not quite sure what you mean by “fluff” but this is probably something you’d address in the workshop. I think it’s very clever. Hope it works out well!

  • Adam Cunningham-Reid

    This looks great. I don’t think it’d be offensive at all. Not quite sure what you mean by “fluff” but this is probably something you’d address in the workshop. I think it’s very clever. Hope it works out well!

  • Barb

    I love it! I once saw a classroom instructor who talked about having designed the class so that the learners wouldn’t end up with dents in their faces from the 3-ring binders when they passed out from boredom. This seems like a similar idea and it’s CRITICAL to make sure people understand that bad elearning is a waste of time. I recently saw a course where the “developer” used Camtasia to narrate reading legal jargon that was displayed on the screen. TAlK about deadly. I about ruined my monitor when I started to bang my head against it.

  • Barb

    I love it! I once saw a classroom instructor who talked about having designed the class so that the learners wouldn’t end up with dents in their faces from the 3-ring binders when they passed out from boredom. This seems like a similar idea and it’s CRITICAL to make sure people understand that bad elearning is a waste of time. I recently saw a course where the “developer” used Camtasia to narrate reading legal jargon that was displayed on the screen. TAlK about deadly. I about ruined my monitor when I started to bang my head against it.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Barb – Dents in the faces and banging heads against monitors…sounds like an new niche market for the helmet industry. Re: “Bad elearning is a waste of time.” Words to live by!

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Barb – Dents in the faces and banging heads against monitors…sounds like an new niche market for the helmet industry. Re: “Bad elearning is a waste of time.” Words to live by!

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Thanks Adam. I didn’t think about ‘fluff’ but good to bring it up. My fear of turning someone off is that they may feel they are creating boring elearning (according to the criteria).

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Thanks Adam. I didn’t think about ‘fluff’ but good to bring it up. My fear of turning someone off is that they may feel they are creating boring elearning (according to the criteria).

  • carri.saari

    Good concept – a new twist on the general ‘do & don’t’ list. I agree with Adam that it is not offensive.

    I’d edit the text down to the bare essentials so the audinece knows exactly what you are getting at. ie: Severe: Jargon laden PowerPoint show with auto-advance; text read aloud. Zero interactivty.

    Also, use the colors only in the left column – it is color-overload with the whole table filled in.

    Love your ideas – you feed my Google Reader and my brain.

  • carri.saari

    Good concept – a new twist on the general ‘do & don’t’ list. I agree with Adam that it is not offensive.

    I’d edit the text down to the bare essentials so the audinece knows exactly what you are getting at. ie: Severe: Jargon laden PowerPoint show with auto-advance; text read aloud. Zero interactivty.

    Also, use the colors only in the left column – it is color-overload with the whole table filled in.

    Love your ideas – you feed my Google Reader and my brain.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Stephen, I had a feeling someone would say that. However, it is a ‘course’ advisory system. For this workshop, it seems most people are on the middle/right side of curve (on Roger’s Technology Adoption Lifecycle Model). I think helping them understand how to do the best with the technology they have in their environment today will assist them in providing content to their learners that is engaging – now and down the road. If, at this point in time, I bring up immersive environments, wikis, blogs, educational networks, etc. I’m likely to take away from what I’m out to do. I struggle with finding a balance.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Stephen, I had a feeling someone would say that. However, it is a ‘course’ advisory system. For this workshop, it seems most people are on the middle/right side of curve (on Roger’s Technology Adoption Lifecycle Model). I think helping them understand how to do the best with the technology they have in their environment today will assist them in providing content to their learners that is engaging – now and down the road. If, at this point in time, I bring up immersive environments, wikis, blogs, educational networks, etc. I’m likely to take away from what I’m out to do. I struggle with finding a balance.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com/ Janet Clarey

    Thanks Carri – Excellent feedback. Hope you didn’t fall out of your chair with those colors. (another application for the e-learning helmet). They are kind of harsh now that I look at it. Good point to with the trimming the text. Succinct is good.

  • http://www.brandon-hall.com Janet Clarey

    Thanks Carri – Excellent feedback. Hope you didn’t fall out of your chair with those colors. (another application for the e-learning helmet). They are kind of harsh now that I look at it. Good point to with the trimming the text. Succinct is good.

  • Maria Hlas

    I agree with everyone’s comments. I think it is great and pretty succinct in making your point. As for offending people who might be currently creating courses in the red zone – well I am assuming they are taking your workshop for a reason – to improve. But I definitely wouldn’t make them raise their hands and admit what level their current courses are! Maybe just preface it by saying something about the fact that you are not trying to offend or embarrass anyone. And for any of the attendees who are in a position where they are being told to do things a certain way by someone higher up, a compliance person, SME, etc. this gives them some ammo to design future projects in a better way.

  • Maria Hlas

    I agree with everyone’s comments. I think it is great and pretty succinct in making your point. As for offending people who might be currently creating courses in the red zone – well I am assuming they are taking your workshop for a reason – to improve. But I definitely wouldn’t make them raise their hands and admit what level their current courses are! Maybe just preface it by saying something about the fact that you are not trying to offend or embarrass anyone. And for any of the attendees who are in a position where they are being told to do things a certain way by someone higher up, a compliance person, SME, etc. this gives them some ammo to design future projects in a better way.

  • http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/ Dave Ferguson

    Janet, this is great… one thing that occurs to me: first present a list of questions that result in a point system — e.g., “Does content consist mainly of uploaded PowerPoint?” or “Are graphics mostly free clip art with no consistency between images?”
    Let people score themselves (probably silently).

    Then present this chart, cranking in point totals. Maybe put score and characteristics first.

    SCORE / EXAMPLES / BOREDOM LEVEL:

    21 – 25 /
    – All interaction is ‘click next’
    – Audio reads all on-screen text
    – Images look like motivation posters
    /
    HIGH

  • http://www.daveswhiteboard.com Dave Ferguson

    Janet, this is great… one thing that occurs to me: first present a list of questions that result in a point system — e.g., “Does content consist mainly of uploaded PowerPoint?” or “Are graphics mostly free clip art with no consistency between images?”
    Let people score themselves (probably silently).

    Then present this chart, cranking in point totals. Maybe put score and characteristics first.

    SCORE / EXAMPLES / BOREDOM LEVEL:

    21 – 25 /
    – All interaction is ‘click next’
    – Audio reads all on-screen text
    – Images look like motivation posters
    /
    HIGH

  • http://www.daveswhiteboard.com/ Dave Ferguson

    P.S.:

    I haven’t seen it much lately (which is odd, since I live near Washington), but the DHS threat-level graphic does have the solid color… you might keep the colors, but lower their intensity a bit.

  • http://www.daveswhiteboard.com Dave Ferguson

    P.S.:

    I haven’t seen it much lately (which is odd, since I live near Washington), but the DHS threat-level graphic does have the solid color… you might keep the colors, but lower their intensity a bit.

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