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.

Dana Kocalis

I loved all of the examples...and here is my entry I started with the idea of showing bad assessment answers, but I got kind of out of control, so there are many things wrong with this: 1. You can't really see the font in the yellow sheep caption (and it's ugly) 2. The rollover area for the cow is way too small (keep looking you'll find it :) 3. The actual assessment answers for you to select is on the second slide 4. And, my original plan....The assessment possible answers are a pet peeve of mine such as "none of the above", "all of the above", "both b and c but not e except after a" get the picture. 5. And, the correct response screen does not give any insight as to why your response was correct or incorrect... 6. The fonts are too varied and the captions overlap in a... Expand

Kimberly Valliere

@Dan -- your blog post brought back memories in the redundancy section. I too had a professor that read to us in graduate school. I adored this lady, but the reading to us was PAINFUL. I even did a presentation on the pitfalls of PPT and noted paragraphs on the slide and reading to the audience was a no-no. I felt bad for a little while because she got the hint and stopped....for one class. @Montise--are you trying to torture us OCD people? @Nick--thanks for the SOUND warning...I'm pretty sure my entire office is wide awake now. @Sophia--I often argue about paragraphs of text on a PPT slide. And the rebuttal usually is....'well, if we use it for a handout...' That's where the ID in me comes out to remind that person that PPT slides ARE NOT intended to be used as handouts. @all ... Expand

Paul Alders
Jeff Kortenbosch
Jackie Van Nice
Richard Watson

Looks like it's been a while (August 17th) since someone stopped by this "ghost town". Just in case, David is watching comments, here is my submission for this one: 1: This course was published without a name. Small problem but we’ll fix that later! 2: The font used, Edwardian Script ITC, is very hard to read! The black color against an orange background offers a complementary contrast that draws your attention but it’s not suited to the presentation of text in most cases. 3: The pumpkin, although used in context for the lesson, offers a second navigation structure in addition to the one included with the player. Should the user click the Next button or click the pumpkin? The word “START” is not aligned properly. 4: Wow! T... Expand

David Anderson
Richard Watson