E-learning vs. online page turning

Kirsty_Walden– Posted by Kirsty Walden

There have been a couple of occasions recently where we’ve been asked to review and rate an ‘interactive’ e-learning programme. We duly registered our details, chose a password, and then logged on only to find that the experience is pretty passive…and the only real interaction required is to simply click on the arrow to travel through to the next page to read.

We call this style of e-learning – ‘online page turning’ because regardless how attractive the images and graphics are, if the user is simply reading and clicking through content then the (so-called) e-learning is nothing more than a glorified digital text book and probably wasn’t worth the investment spent to create it.

In these situations, we believe that the user experience is just too passive to achieve an effective learning experience.

In our view there are a few principles to keep in mind (and we also include in the solutions we develop) to create a truly effective e-learning programme:

  • Break up the subject matter into smaller chapters that are easier for the user to absorb and digest
  • Provide a feature that saves a user’s progress so they can stop and start their learning session at a time that suits them
  • Test the user’s understanding by putting the subject theory into case-study style situations the user can relate to
  • Present these case studies as realistic dilemmas and ask the user to make decisions about how they would respond
  • If the user provides an incorrect or incomplete answer, explain why and provide the correct answer to continue their learning
  • Ensure the design interface guides the user through the process, the design should be very intuitive to ensure the user is focused on the content rather than navigating through the programme
  • Consider including a competency test at the end with a ‘pass’ rate to evaluate how much the user has learned

If you’d like to hear more about our approach to e-learning or learn more about the solutions we’ve developed, please get in touch or take a look at a one of our case studies: