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.

Lindsey Ball

I definitely exaggerated a lot for this challenge. But that made it more fun! A few highlights: - cropped characters that appear to float - way too many exclamation points and ellipses - not much attention to detail - bad timing, so characters/photos appear on screen at the same time, when that wasn't the intention - text/photos/characters coming off the screen too early (a lot of times, a photo, for example, will be set to show until end, but it also is set for a fade out, so it fades at the very end of the slide) - bad sizing on the bullets for bulleted lists - spelling and grammar and consistency, oh my! - being able to click on buttons on the base layer while viewing a layer - no way to exit a layer I teach newspaper page design to community college students a few nights... Expand

Liz Braden
Nancy Woinoski

Here is my effort - I think most of these points have been covered but here goes... 1. text-to-speech narration gives this course a nice robotic feel. 2. narrator is saying exactly (well almost exactly) what is on the screen. Learner does not know whether to listen or read. Both options are painful 3. animation of text and objects are poorly synchronized to the audio so are a total distraction. 4. Bobble-head images should be banned from all courses IMHO - this one is particularly bad because of the careless way the white background was removed from the image. 5. Images are various styles. The bobble-head (did I mention these should be banned) and arrows are a different style. 6. spelling mistakes and inconsistent spelling (so... Expand