Tutorial: Don't Disable That Next Button... Do This Instead

While the idea of disabling the Next button until an activity has been completed might seem like a good idea. The person completing your course disagrees.


It is incredibly frustrating when an eLearning course forces one to view all of the information on each slide before they can progress. It doesn't just insult our learners, but actively discourages them from ever dipping back into a course to quickly double check some information.

Now, you and I both know that there are better ways of handling this.

We'd love to make every course so engaging that our learners would be so deeply hooked that they would be on the edge of their seat almost salivating. We'd love for them to be so invested in the outcome of a scenario that they wouldn't dream of skipping ahead... but then reality sets in.

The workload, the budget, the lack of resources, the project team who doesn't believe that scenarios could possibly work, The Big Boss Person who insists that we just "Get it done™".

So we give into The Big Boss and we build a traditional course.

Then, before we know it, we are being asked to disable the Next button until the learner has viewed every bit of text on a page or listened to every word of audio. Because clearly, that's the only way that the legal department will ever be satisfied that everyone has really learned everything they need to know about {topic}!

But really, this one is on us.

We are the ones who haven't been able to demonstrate more effective ways of engaging the learner. We are the ones who haven't been able to sell the benefits of scenario based learning. We are the ones who haven't come to the table with a better way of handling this.

That means that ultimately, we are the ones who are making the decision to restrict the navigation.

Sure, we've been told by The Big Boss, but really, our learners deserve better than this. Don't leave them frustrated, clicking wildly around a slide hoping to find that thing they need to click that'll make the Next button appear. That's not fun for anyone.

We need a better solution.

Something that'll allow the learner to freely navigate through a course. Something that will keep The Big Boss happy. Something that'll help the legal department sleep easy knowing everyone has learnt the essentials, while still allowing us to "Get it done™" despite the workload, budget and lack of resources.

This is that solution.

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