To Lock or Unlock Elearning Course Navigation

I just read a post Here’s Why Unlocking Navigation Will Create Better Learning by Tom Kuhlmann and totally agree with the way Tom argues that unlocking course navigation contributes to better learning.

I have gone through quite a lot of courses where the navigation is very much controlled.

In all these courses, you need to go module after module. You cannot skip modules. For instance onlyafter you complete the first module, you can proceed to the second module. Even worse sometimes  each module has a Check Your Understanding (CYU)  which you have to complete and meet a specific score.

For instance the first time I completed the first module of a particular course and attempted the CYU, I scored 60%. The second module button didnt get enabled. I had to score 70% for the module button to get enabled. I had to go through the entire first module all over again. All through the course,  I never focused on the subject or the content. Actually I just could not. I was just getting frustrated and tried all my best to move forward by hook or crook. I didnt gain anything from these courses. I just got irritated and impatient.

Most often the learner is not interested in everything that you give in an elearning courses. This happens with all of us. When you are reading a lengthy pdf, you search for topics and portions that is of immediate relevance. You just dont go page by page, reading every line in the right sequence.

Instead of focusing on navigation, you need to focus on the essence of the content you to give to the learners. Learners need to gain something out of your course. How learners navigate through the course is of less importance. Rather what they will gain through the course and how they will be able to use is it is of more importance.

As Tom rightly says The goal isn’t to get them to read all of the content.  Instead, the goal is to get them to DO something.  The content only supports the DOING.

I agree with Tom that problem solving exercises can actually add value to the learning experience. A course created with lot of thought can make a lot of difference.  You need to challenge the learners while you teach them something. That’s where they will get enthused to learn more.

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