Sep 20, 2013
How important is consistency across courses in an LMS? Here's my conflict. We have almost 300 courses offered for continuing education credits in healthcare, specifically medical equipment providers. I have been with the company for three years and have brought a lot of new ideas and am open to trying new things. Before I came, every course was EXACTLY the same...in every way...EXACTLY! I cannot stress that enough. Drab. Lots of text, limited images, no interaction, only linear builds. All test questions were true/false or multiple choice. And that's as far as it went.
I'm making changes little by little, but I'm stuck and need some input.
The first slide of each course is a title page. The second page is called Before You Begin. It lets the user know they need 80% to pass (required), gives them a link to the Adobe site to update if needed, directs them to the Resources tab in the menu. The decision maker wants every Before You Begin page to be exactly the same. It used to be black text on white background. No one read it and we often go questions about the content on the page. I designed a cork board with post it notes. I think we've had good luck getting the users to stop and read the page. I didn't intend for this page to be a template. I wanted us to get creative with the boring, required pages in the beginning of the courses in an effort to get more users to read the information.
He said this page needs to be the same in every one of the 300 courses. If we do that, I think we get back to the users skipping over it because they've seen the same thing in other courses. I've looked in my resources I usually go to to support why we need variety, but I can't find anything. Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the courses should be all the same and consistency is key.
I lean more towards a familiar flow. The player also has our logo, the resources and menu are in the same place. There are some concretes in our courses. I don't mess with navigation and such, but as far as the course design, I like variety. I feel like it keeps the learner engaged if it feels new and different.
Any useful websites, blog posts, book, etc. would be helpful. I can usually persuade the decision makers when I have facts to back up my feelings.