Friday, 14 February 2014

Click Next to Continue

One of my areas of responsibility in Learning Technologies is for the tools that are often used to make e-learning; Articulate Storyline is a great example, then there's Captivate and Articulate Studio and so on and so forth.  I've written previously how these are great for capability building when combined with the right training and if you read a few of my blogs you'll find there's also a call-out for great instructional design or 'ID' in your elearning to make it effective.  Today I'm doing a quick Friday short on one of my real pet hates...

So the thing that really bugs me though is the massive over-use of click 'next' to continue... and you know it's exactly the same thing when you replace the word 'next' with an arrow pointing right eh?  If your e-learning is essentially page turning then it's no different to a Powerpoint slide or an e-book or at best a technical manual rather than a piece of learning.  Click next to continue is the scenario based equivalent of a one-lane-one-way street at rush hour - and who wants to end up on that street?

Have some imagination, present different routes through your learning, engage and drive by asking questions and carrying out tasks - even click around a 'scene' and have pop-ups appear that explain more, anything... anything to break up the monotony of that one by one approach.

It triggers bad memories for me of lectures (hard to believe I am actually educated to some degree (excusing the pun - the nth of course)) where the old fella would bring in a huge case of slides and my will to live slowly ebbed away as they progressed through them one by one.

It circles all the way to push v pull learning again too, if someone gets it why show them every slide you have?  Maybe it's just out of a sadistic sense of purpose or a 'I had to make all these so I'm going to show all these' or maybe it's just because that's the way you learned.  But did you really learn much in those type of lectures? 

We learn far quicker from doing than we ever do from listening or watching.  Clicking next to continue isn't doing, it's just loading up the next slide on the OHP and that's not fun for anyone is it?