Vlog Feed

Why I Blame Articulate for Crap eLearning

Do you remember when you were sat in that really boring training session, and at the end, the trainer wandered over to you, and he handed you all 83 of his PowerPoint slides, printed out, individually, on 84 sheets of paper?

And of course he didn't know how to print front and back, so it was one piece of paper per slide.

So if there were 15 people in your training session, and there were 83 slides, that would be 1,245 pieces of paper per training session.

Did you ever go back to your desk and work your way through those slides? I mean, what an incredible waste of paper.

Now, if we fast-forward 20 years, we have a new way of creating equally shit content.

And I blame this button. In one click, you can import all 83 of your PowerPoint slides, and create an e-learning course.

Now admittedly we're not wasting trees anymore, but we're wasting people's time.

Now I know people are gonna argue and say, well you can't blame the tools for this bad content. And I've had this discussion before, and whilst I completely see their point, I kinda disagree, because I think the software vendors and the people who are creating these tools that allow us to create content so quickly and so easily, have a responsibility to ensure their tools are used correctly.

Now I'm not gonna suggest I have the answers to these problems, but what I wanted to do today was give a couple of examples where software vendors are using their software both irresponsibly and responsibly, and see if we can draw any comparisons from those.

So an example of a software vendor who is using their software irresponsibly is Facebook. And Facebook are definitely not the only guilty parties when it comes to this, but if we think about how Facebook, you know, when you download their app, how it works, the default is to notify you about every single little thing. So, every time somebody likes one of my comments, or comments on one of my photos, or friend requests me, I'm gonna get a notification badge on my phone, or a beep, or a something to notify me and distract me from what I'm doing. Now I think this is hugely irresponsible, and I think that the default should be that all these notifications are turned off, and actually we have to go away and switch them on if we wanna be notified. People like my mum who don't really know how to use technology very well are gonna innocently download the Facebook app, and before they know it, their whole life is gonna be consumed by annoying notifications that are beeping, and pinging, and buzzing.

Now an example of a company who are using technology and their software responsibly, the one I thought of was Waze, who provide like in-car GPS navigation, and if you use their app to, you know, as a sat-nav essentially, to guide you to your destination. If you're driving your car, and you start using the app, it will actually give you a warning and say to you, well hang on a minute, you should pull over, 'cause it can recognize that your car is moving, and it'll say make sure you're not the driver, make sure you pull over, and that you can use the sat-nav, but don't use it whilst you're driving. So this is an example of a piece of software where the software is being proactive in guiding me on how to use it correctly.

So as I said before, I don't have all the answers to this, but I think it's important to discuss this, and I think it's something that we should think about as a community. I'll be really interested to hear your comments, so please drop 'em in the comments section below the video, and I'll see you in the next episode.

Ant PughComment