Tom Khulmann, on the Rapid E-Learning Blog, regularly writes on techniques and tips for eLearning success. Recently he wrote about a discussion thread happening on the Articulate community site about pet peeves of eLearning professionals. In his reply he outlined not only some of the more recognisable pet peeves from the community (e.g. “the words ‘can you just’…?”) but his own personal favourite: locked course navigation.
Mine … well, the list is long and there isn’t one single thing that stands out from the rest, but if I had to name one pet peeve over all the others I’d say it was apathy. With the rate of change and advancements in technology there really is no excuse for the apathy that exudes from academic circles on the use or implementation of a ‘modern’ (read ‘up to date’) use of technology to enhance learning experiences.
I have met and worked with many people over the years who are involved in designing or delivering eLearning, we have had many many discussions (some positive, some not) on ILOs (Intended Learning Outcomes), student experiences, learning journeys, etc. For me the direction was to find out what all of this meant to the learning, and to see if there was something I had in my learning ‘arsenal’ which could offer efficiencies or enhancements, whether it was time and effort needed from staff or students (or both).
I have met my fair share of apathy on the way – those just point-blank refusing to consider anything beyond their own tried and tested (old?) methods. I am not saying they should change. I am not saying their way is wrong or outdated or inefficient. I am saying that a point-blank refusal to take, for example, negative feedback on board and consider the student’s learning journey to improve the learning materials is obstructive, not just for the module, but for the course, department, and, more importantly, the student success.
As I always say, never implement a technological solution for the sake of it; it must be appropriate to the learning need and a careful and considered implementation (support, training, examples, tested, etc.). There are pedagogical and personal reasons why someone would not want to record their seminars, for example, or why summative assessment and group work may not fit together, but at least consider the alternatives before digging a hole and burying your head in the sand?
So, what’s your pet peeve as a Learning Technologist?