Dodg-E-learning: Part 1

Dodg-E-learning: Part 1

Posted on Mar 26, 2015

‘Our people hated health & safety training,’ an HR and Development manager told me recently, ‘and our trainers hated delivering it.’  

‘So, what did you do about it?’ I asked.  

‘Simple,’ she replied, ‘we switched to e-learning’.  

‘And how is it now?’ I ask.  

‘Well’, she sighs, ‘now everyone hates e-learning’ 

It’s true. Ask the average person what they think of e-learning and the response is rarely complimentary, especially if it’s on health and safety, or any other of those ‘mandatory’ topics our employers force us to do…regularly. 

And who can blame people? So much  e-learning is bad, and I mean, really bad. I've looked at hundreds of e-learning courses over the last 8 years or so, not only on health and safety, but food hygiene, data protection, equality and diversity, child and adult safeguarding, fire safety and first aid too, and on almost every occasion, I’ve pretty much hated e-learning too.  

In future blogs, we can look more closely at some of the key things that e-learning providers get wrong – such as the lack of understanding around how people actually learn, the lack of consideration for the user experience, the absence of creativity and imagination, the pointlessness of some interactivity, and so on. 

But for a starter, here’s a taste of things that irritate me the most: 

1. Clunky navigation. I've seen e-learning platforms that literally require users to undergo a training course in how to use the system and ‘navigate’, before they’re allowed to start their training. Really? Surely, most of us just want to start at the beginning and get through it as quickly as we can, don’t we? Forcing us to train in accessing our training is just adding insult to injury

2. Cluttered navigation. You know the thing: a thick and prominent menu bar that takes up a third of the screen with big, fat arrows and over-sized controls. Equally, the ugly and ever-visible contents list on every screen. The two combined, and there’s barely any room for the actual training content  

3. Informing the user on the first screen that they are on ‘page 1 of 245’… why deliver the bad news before one’s even started?  Just how off-putting this is was brought home to me by a friend who was required to take an e-learning course on self harm: ‘If I have to wade through another 240 odd pages of this’ she moaned ‘ I’m going to start self harming myself’  

4. Mobile Learning? The biggest con of the lot. What that often means is yes, you can do your training on the move, just so long as you’re happy to access our website from your phone, but hey, surely you can’t expect it to be responsive. Prepare yourselves for minuscule text, weird layouts, and absolutely no functionality whatsoever. Great, eh? 

Sounds familiar? Share your experiences of e-learning with us. 


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