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Michael Allen's Guide to E-Learning: Building Interactive, Fun, and Effective Learning Programs for Any Company by Michael W. Allen

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CHAPTER THREE

THE ESSENCE OF GOOD DESIGN

Excellent e-learning is a treasure that pays for itself over and over again. Each positive experience energizes, focuses, and enables yet another learner to be both more individually successful and more able to contribute to the organization.

Many traditional instructional design principles are either misapplied or used in justification of designs that simply do not work. They should be abandoned. It’s not my intent to start a religious war. I only hope to help free designers from a widespread bondage to some design principles that are frequently adhered to with something akin to religious fervor.

When we find that some things work over and over again, we should use them even if we don’t understand all the reasons why they work. Designers shouldn’t be hesitant to take nontraditional directions if they can see a possible benefit for learners. In other words, it is best to abandon traditional principles and methods in order not to abandon the primary goal of creating truly effective learning experiences. We should be guided by values, not habits.

I am somewhat irreverent in my treatment of many design practices and vote strongly in favor of on-target pragmatic approaches. What I value is learning experiences that are interesting, meaningful, and memorable, because they have the best chance of enabling people to do what they want and need to do. I hope you already share these values; if not, I hope to convince you that these values are most ...

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