Be kind to your learners

Too often in eLearning, some instructional designers punish learners inadvertently by making the tasks or quizzes too hard. Obviously, there are cases where making the game hard is necessary (a challenge) or hard fun (such as in Lazzaro’s Four Keys to Fun), but what about the player who is trying hard to play but lacks the motor skills to master the game’s demands? Should this learner walk away from the solution, frustrated and angry at not being able to complete an experience they were previously enjoying tremendously? How many users fail to complete a task they love because of an interaction they simply cannot win due to their fingers not moving fast enough? I feel that learners should leave an experience with a sense of satisfaction at having accomplished something.

All I ask is, be kind to your learners. In the event that a learner has clearly tried repeatedly to succeed at a task (something easily tracked), try making the task just a little bit simpler. It may not even be necessary to change the task enough to be perceivable to the player. A small decrease in the difficulty may be the difference between an unhappy learner throwing the mouse across the room and an ecstatic user rejoicing and pumping their fists upward with a sense of accomplishment. I agree, this is not in any way to make all your challenges easy. It is simply recognizing that making learning solutions/interactions inordinately difficult isn’t a good experience for players. I feel that creating a good experience for the learner should be the goal rather than developing a complex interaction just to prove how clever and smart we are.

Published by theirishduck

I love the ability where I can plan, prioritise, design, develop and deliver blended learning solutions for a variety of markets. I love to consult and advise about the best use of digital learning and improve design standards in line with evolving ways of working. I also enjoy to keep up to date with, understand and regularly recommend emerging technologies and practice to improve individuals, teams and organisational capabilities. With over 12 years digital learning experience and demonstrated experience in both instructional design and eLearning development, I have also a lot of experience conducting training needs analysis including how to leverage principles such as design thinking and root cause analysis to understand and address performance gaps. I also have led many facilitation workshops and even presented at iDesignX and Game Developers Conferences both here in Australia, Wales and in the United States. I bring loads of coding experience in Java, ASM, C++, HTML, JavaScript, SCORM and xAPI, as well as proven capability using Adobe Captivate, Trivantis Lectora and Articulate Storyline 360 Studio authoring programs. Of course, Adobe Creative Cloud is also part of my toolbox which I also use daily. Being taught traditional and advanced 3D animation techniques, I love hand drawing and polymer clay sculpture, but can also use the Blender, 3D Studio Max, Maya and Softimage applications. With strong multimedia, training and programming backgrounds, I understand modern learner behaviour including micro and social learning, I am very familiar with most LMSes and app-based (XCode and Android Studio), adult learning models and e-solutions. I also possess the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously, whilst being pro-active in delivering work independently with minimal supervision, but enjoy working in teams. I've been told I am a resilient, relationship focused guy which can manage and navigate conflicting views and stakeholders/subject matter experts.

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