I'm relatively new to the world of Instructional Design and the development of eLearning material, but I've had a LOT of experience as a trainee. Much of that experience has been pretty painful (this should be no surprise to anyone). If you, as an Instructional Designer or course developer, want to keep me engaged in training, don't let any of the following things be true... these are the 12 things that will make me hate your training course.
I will hate your course if...
- I feel that the topic is boring, stupid, beneath me, or completely obvious.
- I feel that the topic has no relevance or importance to me or my job.
- I feel that the content is completely academic, impractical, unsupported, or just an exercise in memorization.
- I feel that the content's level of detail is either so high or so low (relative to my needs and interests) that the training is a waste of my time.
- I feel that the presentation of the content is monotonous and boring or overactive and annoying.
- I feel that the content glosses over important and meaningful information or bludgeons me to death with shallow and unimportant details.
- I feel that the content is dumbed-down or is way beyond me (or any reasonable expectation for the topic, its content, and my need for it).
- I feel that the content and/or its presentation are inaccurate, incomplete, unsatisfying, amateurish, or imbalanced.
- I feel that I'm being preached or lied to, or that the message is simplistic and one-sided (white-wash, snow-job, double-speak, weasel-words, propaganda).
- I feel that some part of the content or presentation is questionable, objectionable, insensitive, insulting, condescending, pretentious, or in bad taste.
- I feel that the training wasn't designed to meet my needs, but was rather intended to just "put something out there" so the company can say "yes, we trained him on that".
- I feel that the training was slapped together by a training geek with no practical knowledge or experience, a subject-matter geek that couldn't instruct his or her way out of a paper bag, or someone that's bored and disinterested and just pumping out training material because they have to.
We can talk about experiential learning, cognitive theory, learning styles, etc. all day long, but if a training course bores or angers me (eLearning or not), I will become disengaged rather quickly. (I've posted this list on the wall of my office as a reminder of what not to do.)
Never forget what it feels like to be a trainee!
by Bill Wilson