Deconstructing an e-Learning Sample

Allison Goldthorpe created a sample facility orientation using Articulate Rise. Let’s deconstruct her e-Learning to determine features and characteristics. This analysis applies definitions and descriptions as outlined by Ruth Colvin Clark in her book Scenario-Based E-Learning.

Analysis of Blue Beta Facilities Orientation  

Course topicThis eLearning gets new employees familiar with work facilities. Topics include retrieving mail, printing, and using the kitchen.
Relevant characteristics of the target learner audienceThese learners are new to the company and unfamiliar with the building layout and amenities. They may be relatively familiar with working in offices. However, the training also provides enough basic information that someone who is new of an office environment would be able to get up to speed quickly. Thanks to the insights of the others in this course, there are several other characteristics we can infer that I did not consider in my initial assessment: Learners have access to and are comfortable with using computers and/or mobile devices (Professor Dombrowski)Learners do not have any known special needs. (Professor Dombrowski)As Colette Piper pointed out, learners are familiar with North American business culture.
Knowledge and/or skill typeLearners can recall facts about the building like where to print black and white vs. color or how to get a new fob to access the building.
Learning domainsThis e-Learning is part of the Compliance: Policies and Procedures learning domain because employees are learning some policies and procedures of the building, like where to print certain kinds of documents, and safety information, like using fobs to access the building.
Assessment methods (i.e., response options, test items)The assessment at the end of the lesson used multiple choice questions with one true/false question.
Trigger events  This e-Learning is more directive learning and does not contain a trigger. I talk more about trigger events in another post from this week.
Guidance techniquesClark describes several methods to provide guidance in e-Learning. She recommends closed-response option questions and simple navigation options for novice learners. This sample applies both of those concepts. The assessment questions are all multiple choice with only few options and the interface is simple and guided. Each lesson ends with a button taking learners to the next section. There is also a menu in the left sidebar where learners can jump to a section as needed.
Advisor types (if any)I did not see any coaches in this course. The designer did provide links to helpful forms, like the city’s parking application, but I would not classify this as an advisor.

What are the learning objectives for each section?

Learning outcome (terminal objective): Given the eLearning module, new employees can navigate the building and access facility resources each day.

Lesson 1 Facilities Team  Topic (type): Declarative
Objective: Given introductions to the facilities team, employees can contact them as needed.
Lesson 2 Building Layout  Topic (type): Declarative and situated.
Objective: Given a map and description of the building, employees can effectively navigate the premises.
Lesson 2.1: Declarative. Given an interactive map of the building, employees can navigate to areas/rooms they need.
Lesson 2.2: Situational: Given a description of each printer, the employee knows when to use the less efficient color printer on the western side of the building.
Lesson 3 Mail Room  Topic (type): Declarative
Objective: Given information about the mail handling process, employees can have packages sent to them and pick up their mail from the mail room.
Lesson 4 Building Security  Topic (type): Declarative.
Objective: Given the building access policy, employees know how to use and secure their fobs/badges and understand the visitor policy.
Lesson 5 Bicycle Storage  Topic (type): Declarative
Objective: Given information about bike storage, employees know where to store their bikes and how to apply for a high-value spot within the parking garage.  
Lesson 6 Parking  Topic (type): Declarative and procedural.
Objective: Given details about available parking, employees can choose a place to park and apply for parking within a week of beginning their job.
Lesson 6.1:  Declarative. Objective: Employees will know what parking options are available to them. Lesson 6.2: Procedural. Objective: Employees will know how to apply for parking in the location of their choice.
Lesson 7 Kitchen Use  Topic (type): Declarative.
Objective: Given the company policy information, employees can find company-provided food and store their own food brought to work.
Lesson 8 Pet Policy  Topic (type): Declarative and procedural.
Objective: Given details of the company’s pet policy, employees do not bring their pets to work outside of specified instances and can apply to bring their dog to work on the specified day.
* Lesson 8.1: Declarative. Given details of the company pet policy, employees will not bring their dogs to work unless approved.
Lesson 8.2: Procedural. Given details of the pet policy, employees can apply for Bring Your Dog to Work Day each year.  
Lesson 9Assessment

Is this eLearning effective?

To determine whether this lesson is effective, I would consider the overall design, navigation, complexity of the content, and amount of guidance issued. The organization could also measure performance outcomes based on the listed learning objectives.

We can tell this is for novice workers, and as Clark explains in her book, the newer the learner, the more guidance and less complex training they require to be successful. This training is simple and presents the information in bite-sized pieces. It also provides limited options as learners move through it, essentially ushering them down a one-way path. This speaks to a simple interface design, which Clark (2013) explains is preferable for novice learners because it lessens the cognitive load while learning new information.

The assessment offered multiple choice questions, and limited the response options available, making it easier to determine the correct answer. Learners received feedback after each question was answered, explaining what they got right or wrong in their answer.

Overall, I think the simple, guided design for new learners would be effective for new office employees to get familiar with the facility and available services.

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