Actually...we can’t help you cheat death or skip taxes, but we can show you common e-learning mistakes so you can avoid them.

E-Learning Challenge #32

Two weeks ago you told us what e-learning designers do. Last week you showed us what you’ve done as e-learning designers. What about telling and showing what e-learning designers shouldn’t do?

Show what we shouldn’t do? What is this, opposite day or something?

It’s kind of like like opposite day. If you’re like most course designers, you’ve learned more from your mistakes than you have your successes. And showcasing e-learning mistakes is what this week’s challenge is all about!

Challenge of the week

This week, your challenge is to design one or more slides featuring common course mistakes. Yes, mistakes. Unleash those pet peeves and visual nightmares. Don’t hold back. Amplify the mistakes. Let us feel the pain of bad e-learning.

There are quite a few ways you can approach this challenge. You can focus on visual design mistakes, usability and navigation mistakes, quizzing mistakes, or general online training mistakes you or “someone you know” has made.

There are two parts to this challenge:

  • List the mistakes. Use the comments below to list the mistakes you’re highlighting.
  • Show the mistakes. Design your slide using the mistakes you listed.

Please list the mistakes. Next week, you'll use your list to make fixes to your files!


You can use any program you like to build your bad e-learning examples.

Last week’s challenge

Before you unlearn everything you know in this week’s challenge, take a look at all the amazing work you and your fellow community workers have done recently:

More about the e-learning challenges:

The weekly challenges are ongoing opportunities to learn, share, and build your e-learning portfolios. You can jump into any or all of the previous challenges anytime you want. We’ll feature your work and provide feedback if you request it.

Wishing you the baddest week ever, E-Learning Heroes!

Even if you’re using a trial version of Studio ’13 or Storyline, you can absolutely publish your challenge files. Just sign up for a fully functional, free 30-day trial, and have at it. And remember to post your questions and comments in the forums; we're here to help. For more e-learning tips, examples, and downloads, follow us on Twitter.

David Anderson
Matthew Guyan
Dan Sweigert
Bruce Graham

...and this is why I am one of the most sought after freelance IDs in the UK :) Even the url sucks...   :) Things that could, possibly be better? Previous button on first slide, and Next button on the last slide Poor grammatical construction Images that are copied off iStock and have the watermark Long lines of text Closed caption that lags behind the spoken word Bad v/o that fades in and out with background noise Monotonous tone of voice Lots of different backgrounds Bloated wording Link / 404 errors Resources button that does not work All slide space filled Media/content that makes no sense Inconsistent font types (Lack of CRAP) No contrast, no reuse of design elements (titles for example are all different), bad Alignment, Bad P... Expand

Nick Russell

Sophia - your example raises the issue of companies going through the motions of pre-emptive exculpation in other words ‘covering their asses’. In our litigious times, companies are sometimes more concerned with compliance than with actually teaching anything. What should we as developers do when faced with the 239 slides? Is anyone actually going to read them? If we trim off the fat and tidy up there is the danger of leaving something out that can come back and explode in the face of the CEO Montse you peeve against misalignment is a valuable reminder to me. I often have difficulty seeing my own misalignments and lack of symmetry. If I’m doing a freehand drawing I sometimes have to ‘flip’ the image to see the problems. Getting a mirror image allows me to see it with fresh eyes. Was... Expand

Nick Russell
Sophia Xu
Bianca Woods
Nick Russell