Examples of bad eLearning, anyone?

Hi guys,

I'm studying an online course through coursera on Human-Computer Interaction at the moment and I need some help.

For our first assignment for this course, we have to observe 3 people (of our choosing) as they interact with a computer-based application and record any user frustrations/ comments during their interaction with the computer.

In order for me to do this, I need a really GOOD example of some really BAD eLearning for the people to work through while I watch. I've been searching around the internet extensively and there's a boatload of examples of excellent eLearning, but obviously, if I use that, it will defeat the purpose of the exercise - the aim is to give them something with obvious flaws and that's bound to create frustration, cunfusion or even irritation.

Can any of you please help or point me in the right direction? I'd sincrerely appreciate any assistance.


18 Replies
Travis Thompson

Here: http://www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/serve-ability/index.aspx

Slides that have nothing but bullet points and random photos of the same guy over and over that are completely unrelated to the content.

The narration, however, is top notch.

For balance, here is a good example of training on the same topic: http://web1.ocad.ca/accessibility/ascs/#

Disclaimer: I had nothing to do with the creation of either of these courses, nor do I know who built them.  I stumbled across both because I was tasked to create a course on the subject and was researching how others had approached it in online course format.

Holly MacDonald

Great point Steve - perhaps add a twist - make sure you describe WHY it's bad.

Recently loved Dave Kelly's piece on this: http://davidkelly.me/2014/04/judgement-vacuum/ 

"You simply can not judge a learning program – and by extension the people who designed and developed it – without understanding the context under which it was developed." 

David Anderson

Okay you guys convinced me. It's on like Donkey Kong!

Do you all agree that this works best as a two-part challenge?

Part 1, we share bad course examples. Most courses should be designed to be bad (tougher than it sounds, trust me) and based on common mistakes (writing, flow, navigation, design, etc.). Then in Part 2, folks choose someone else's sample to fix? Or should everyone fix their own sample?

Steve that's a huge point and ties into the super awesome David Kelly post Holly shared. It might be easier to add some constraints around tangible nuances that are bad in every case. Things like inconsistent design elements, navigation, and overall usability.

We could also focus on bad content where slides use many words without saying anything: "All employees, managers, and supervisors are required to adhere to, understand, and obey all rules, regulations, and policies while on company time, property, and events." HUH???

This is going to be fun!

Emil Heidkamp

"Bad" e-learning should be judged on the basis of the Level 3 / Level 4 evaluation six months after the launch and the budget... Listen to Steve Flowers.  If you create a slick, gorgeous e-learning course that impressed all your friends at the e-learning industry convention but fails to deliver a positive return on investment for your client/employer... well, your pretty course was a waste.