I have written many times regarding the attributes of well-designed e-Learning.  I have, often, listed the salient characteristics that are found within effective e-Learning designs.  And, I have emphasized learner-control as a key design feature of properly produced e-Learning with its resultant increase in learner-retention.

Today, however, we’re going to reverse the process.  We’re going to examine the characteristics you should avoid when buying or producing e-Learning. 

The following items are some of the bigger “no-no’s.”  And, unfortunately, far too many current e-Learning offerings contain one, or many, of these to-be-avoided attributes.

1) Page-turning programs are the ultimate killer. If people want to learn by reading, a textbook is a far better way to go.  Page-turning e-Learning is boring — which is why more than 60% of learners never complete such programs.  Plus, 40% of our nation’s workforce does not comprehend anything written above a 4th Grade reading level.  Re-purposed written procedures and PowerPoint presentations lead the list of ineffectual e-Learning.


2) A linear instructional design will also bore your learners. Effective e-Learning includes instructional branching as well as total learner navigational control.


3) Partial, paraphrased, or no audio will eliminate the learning opportunity for close to half of the learners assigned to an e-Learning course. As we’ve seen “Optional Full Audio” is the only way to include everyone, be they fluent or less-fluent readers.  Let your learners choose whether they wish to listen or read silently.  Give them that choice!


4) An unfriendly user interface will turn off your learners — another big reason why more than 60% of students fail to finish such a poorly designed course. Rather, you should require a knowledgeably designed “home screen” that will allow the learner to access any feature with a single mouse click.  Don’t make it unnecessarily hard for your learners to navigate the course.  A real turnoff!

There you have it! 

It is just as important to recognize the e-Learning courses you should not purchase as it is to know the characteristics of those e-Learning courses designed to contribute to learning and retention.

More on Monday  –  –  –

— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning
September 5, 2018  (Mondays & Wednesdays)


 (This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)