Archive for the 'Rapid e-learning' Category

From Click Next to the Next Level

July 7, 2009
posted by adm42blog

The promise of rapid elearning has for many ended up with a deluge of page turners. What went wrong? Many training honchos thought SMEs could learn the tools in a day and then they could eliminate an entire industry of instructional design out of the production process. So most rapid elearning ended up without instructional design and more importantly, without industrious design.

Page turners, by definition, are devoid of activities-practice and assessments. Without activities, learners miss out the feedback loop of interactive communication. Minus the practice activities, learning is at the mercy of the Ebbinghaus curve of forgetting and the only way memory decay can be staved off is by regular repetition or the old school rote memorization.


When instructional designers create page turners, they do more than just create presentations. For many, the fashionable-to-deride Click Next is a turn-the-page signal. For the discerning designer, it is the least minimum divisor of curriculum structure and sequence.


Of all the clicks a learner will make, Click Next is the most empowering as it links information consumed with information awaited. This link also seeks to replicate itself in the information hierarchy developing the learner’s brain. Page turners are not ineffective because of Click Next but because developers regard it as doing nothing but scroll function.

What’s on each page and how it’s represented impacts memory more in a page turner than in any other elearning. Content chunking “do’s and don’ts” and media principles for use of text, images, and audio exert a considerable impact of memory encoding. Works of Fleming, Levie, and Mayer remain the foundation of design of instructional message. Without application of these, it doesn’t matter what level of courseware you create—the learner is saving the information to a soon-to-be-deleted temp file! Application of the media principles enables the user to save information to his ready-to-be-accessed “See” drive. 


Besides content design, a rapid elearning designer cannot afford to neglect the Component Display Theory. Component Display Theory maintains that to achieve higher levels of mastery, generalized content such as concepts, principles, and procedures need to be elucidated using a divergent range of examples and non-examples. This repository of examples and non-examples is the real interactive element of any learning. 


 Armed with a range of examples and non-examples, instructional designers can present the information using the inquisitory (Ask-then-reveal) method rather than the expository (Show-to-tell) method. Usually, it is the limited range of examples and non-examples that forces designers to rely of the standard rule-example sequence of presentation-activity-feedback routine. With more examples, presentation and feedback become integral to the learning activity.

To make your training more interactive, focus on the content development efforts for developing more examples and non-examples of the generalized content. What gets touted as Level 1, Level 2, Level 3 and Level 4 courseware is nothing but a description of the quality of examples embodied in a course. The more detailed and enriched an example, the closer it is to a reality-like simulation. Scenario-based practice and assessments utilize examples with the relevant details accentuated to make learning decisions possible.

To summarize, Click Next is not the culprit. To make rapid elearning more engaging, you need to work assiduously with the SMEs to develop more examples. Examples create opportunities for activities and activities yield better learner performance.

Declaration of Editorial Policy

July 7, 2009
posted by adm42blog

Blogs and also most e-learning leave behind their author footprints; sometimes harmonious, sometimes chaotic. The information is often perishable and could have been easily flushed out.

The 42 Design Square Blog “begins” by proclaiming its belief that beneath the laws (ahem!) of good design, which seem so obvious, lies skeptical observation, erudite questioning, and persistent inquiry. In this belief, the writers will examine old and new questions, which impact learning—its science, its art, and its craft.

No theoretical model can be built without assumptions; and the role of every good facilitator and student is to continuously relax those assumptions. Only then can one understand, and more importantly, apply.

The writings may not necessarily be the Company view or philosophy but will attest the Company’s commitment to incessantly question and provide food for thought to every instructional designer.

Welcome to the 42 Design Square blog.