Make it Easy for Your Learners to Succeed

I know this sounds contrary to what you think an eLearning designer, developer would want to do, but it’s usually the stakeholders or subject matter experts who are concerned with thwarting all the eLearning cheaters by making an eLearning course as difficult to complete as possible. Here are some examples of the roadblocks that I’ve been asked for in eLearning.

  • Prevent a learner from moving forward unless they answer the knowledge check question
  • Prevent a learner from moving forward unless they click all the buttons
  • Penalize a learner by taking points away for answering a question wrong
  • Force a learner to complete a quiz within a time limit, even when a time limit doesn’t exist on the job
  • Force a learner to view every slide within the course even if they are already a subject matter expert

It’s been my experience that the more restrictive you make an eLearning course the more programming is required on the developer’s part. I’ve never had any hard data but I have always suspected and argued that a course designed to make it difficult for all the cheaters in the world actually has a negative effect on the vast majority of learners who actually wanted to learn.

It seems that what I anecdotally suspected has been proven by former NASA and Apple engineer and fellow YouTuber Mark Rober. He has far more viewers than I do which is ideal for the experiment in the following video.

Next time you have a stakeholder or SME that wants you to make your eLearning course more difficult or to include a negative outcome for failure, please show them this video. I think you might find that people are far more receptive to a simple and easy to use eLearning design when you focus on making people successful.

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I do two things. I design and develop eLearning and I teach others to design and or develop eLearning. In both cases, I encounter people who want to make completing an eLearning course a difficult task for their learners.
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