The Rapid Elearning Blog

Archive for August, 2022


unlock course e-learning

“Step away from the solution.”

I say this all the time when building courses. It helps me and my clients focus on the training program’s core objective. The course we’re building exists to help meet the performance objective; but the course itself is not the objective.

This takes us back to what we discussed earlier: the problem of locking the course navigation. Usually the rationale is that all of the content needs to be viewed. Or, learners will skip past everything to get in and out of the course as fast as they can. Or how do we know they are learning?

The course exists for a purpose and the objective of the course isn’t the course itself. The course is a means to get to the objective. When framed from that perspective, the concern shouldn’t be “how do I guarantee that they don’t skip anything?” Instead, it should be “how do I know that they learned what they need to learn?”

The challenge is to get your client to see this. In the past, I’ve used the following illustration to help clients and subject matter experts see this.

Suppose you have a course where the learner gets a list and needs to buy some items. That’s the performance expectation. And think of your course content like the supermarket. The shelves are filled with all sorts of items.

While there are lots of goodies on the shelves, walking up and down the aisle and looking at everything is irrelevant to their learning expectations.

The learners, armed with the list and instructions, do their shopping. You’re not assessing them on how they shopped – you’re assessing them on whether they bought the right products on the list.

Now some people know how the supermarket is laid out, can find their items, and check out in record time. They’re pros!

Some people like me, need to orient to what’s there. They need to go up and down the aisles. They need to compare products. They want more context. It doesn’t matter if they take 10 minutes or an hour to do it. The performance expectation is to complete the shopping list. That’s what you assess. How well they did shows their level of understanding. Looking at the items in the store or spending a specified amount of time is mostly irrelevant.

Going back to e-elearning…

unlock course e-learning

The learner’s understanding is more important than whether they are looking at a screen or not. You don’t need to make learners sit through information they already know. Instead create a way to assess the learner’s level of understanding. If they don’t know the material, you would know that through the assessment and can direct them in the course to learn what they need.

unlock course e-learning

Ultimately, you establish performance expectations and in the course set a way to assess the learner’s level of understanding. If they can prove they understand, then wasting time in the course is moot. If they can’t, then they go through the content until they can. This way, you don’t have to worry about course navigation or whether a person is skipping the content or not. You can test if they skipped it by testing their understanding. That’s a better measure of success and a better learning experience.

Upcoming Events

  • October 25: Articulate User Conference. It’s not too late to sign up and you don’t need to attend the entire Devlearn event, if all you want to do is attend the Articulate User Conference.
  • October 26-27: Devlearn. Swing by the Articulate booth to chat. Check out the DemoFest. It's one of my favorite parts of the conference and features a lot of cool courses.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.

 




locked e-learning courses

I often see community members asking how to lock down a course. In fact, it is one of the most common questions. The reason for this is that people want to make sure learners see everything in the course. This is especially important in compliance training, where the goal is to ensure that everyone takes the course and is exposed to all the material. Thus, many clients ask that all of the course is locked so that people can’t “skip” any of the important information.

If the goal is to create an online course so that you can report that it was completed by the end of the year and everyone who participated saw everything in it, then locking the course probably makes sense.

Skip Locked E-Learning & Measure Success a Different Way

But, if you want to achieve real results, then locking the course is not the best solution. Instead, focus on the learner’s understanding of the content. You’ll create more effective e-learning courses this way.

Think of it this way; there are two parts to every course: the information the learners need and assessing their ability to process it (which can happen through various means).

Focus less on delivering the information, and more on collecting evidence of the learner’s understanding.

If you do need to lock the course down a bit, lock it at key decision points where you can assess the person’s ability to process the information you shared and make the types of decisions they need to make using it. And at those points, you can also provide the appropriate level of feedback.

Locking the course down may seem like a great solution, but it’s misguided because the course usually exists for reasons other than sharing content.

Upcoming Events

  • October 25: Articulate User Conference. It’s not too late to sign up and you don’t need to attend the entire Devlearn event, if all you want to do is attend the Articulate User Conference.
  • October 26-27: Devlearn. Swing by the Articulate booth to chat. Check out the DemoFest. It's one of my favorite parts of the conference and features a lot of cool courses.

Free E-Learning Resources

Want to learn more? Check out these articles and free resources in the community.

Here’s a great job board for e-learning, instructional design, and training jobs

Participate in the weekly e-learning challenges to sharpen your skills

Get your free PowerPoint templates and free graphics & stock images.

Lots of cool e-learning examples to check out and find inspiration.

Getting Started? This e-learning 101 series and the free e-books will help.