Friday, September 10, 2010


  My 8 month old son refuses to pick up a toy if I give it straight away. Instead, any object is sure to gain his attention if it is just kept nearby.        

 Lesson for his instructional designer mom – Never  compel your learner to READ at something. A subtle message or an indicator would do the trick.  How many times have we thrust upon the key points to the learners by those killer bullets?   

 Yes, we have been taught in schools to summarize points into neat bullets, and I still have all my nods for it. BUT, a lot of  bullets in an e learning course might just make your e learning module more effective than a sleeping pill. .    

  There could be more creative ways of nailing your learner to the e learning course than those sharp bullets.  

 RULE No. 1 – Never explain the obvious   

Our learners are not morons. They are here in the work place after completing a decent level of education. Most of them are also familiar with a PC. This means they need not be explained what a play button or volume control stands for.  Of course, we cannot over look the fact that some learners need some sort of guidance in terms of navigation. So the best option would be to make this optional.    



Rule No 2 - Remember the Short Skirt 

A good speech, it’s said, should be like a short skirt – Long enough to cover the essentials and short enough to be interesting. It’s the same with e learning too. Time the course to be just long enough to cover the key learning points, and yet short enough to be sustain interest.     

  RULE No. 3 – Know When to Load Your Gun 

With our systems fully loaded with bullets, I know it’s quite tempting to just organize the content into some quick bullets and dump it into the course. Instead, do every bit to help your learner retain the lessons learnt. Go visual wherever possible.

Using bullets to organize information is a great way, but, know WHEN to load your gun!

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