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A recent article on eLearn Magazine talked about how to make eLearning stick. At the end of the article Susan Doctoroff Landay posts her “eLearner’s Bill of Rights“. Her point is that we need to remember our eLearner’s expectations when creating courses. Every learner has expectations but the challenge with eLearning is that we can’t see the participants and they have many different tools/ways to access our content.

Here is Susan’s eLearner’s Bill of Rights:

I. Freedom of speech. E-learners have the right to be heard. Learning is a two-way street.

II. The right to bare arms. There is no stated dress code for online learning.

III. No imposition of unreasonable quarters. Online learners shall not be forced to remain seated in front of their computer for the duration of a learning experience. They should be invited to stand and stretch to keep the blood flowing and their attention focused.

IV. No unreasonable searches and seizures. While facilitators may search for a right answer on online survey questions, learners have the right to make mistakes. If one is unable to answer a question correctly, the instructor will not cause embarrassment.

V. Exemption from self-incrimination. If you didn’t do a pre-session assignment and can get away with it, good for you. But you may pay the price later!

VI. The right to a speedy trial. You have the right to try new things and put learning to use as quickly as possible either in online simulations or real-life situations.

VII. The right to a jury of peers. You are entitled access to a group of peers who have experienced the same online learning module. Among this group, you will not be judged, but will be supported when faced with new challenges that require input or discussion.

VIII. No cruel and unusual punishment. E-learners shall not be subjected to interminable lectures, excessive homework nor scorn by the instructor or fellow students. Poor attempts at humor, deemed painful to some, shall be exempt.

IX. Equal treatment of all. All should be treated respectfully regardless of computer speed or size of monitor.

X. The right to have fun. E-learners have the right to laugh, play, and enjoy the learning experience in an interesting, stress-free environment.

My thoughts:

I – Even though many of our courses are self-paced, it sure would be great to tie in ways for the learners to send feedback. This could be feedback directly to the course SME/author or it could be some type of discussion board/forum where everyone could post thoughts.

III – TRUE!  Let’s keep courses short and offer easy ways to jump directly to the topics that we need.

VI – This is one of the greatest beauties of online training … we can try out systems that are fake. Think of ways to build in simulations and give everyone hands-on practice.

IX – This is a hard one. Sometimes is hard to accomadate the person that is still using IE version 1 and a 640 x 480 monitor. By the time you show the navigation buttons and course outline their isn’t much room for content.

X – eLearning is a safe place for people to learn. Nobody is watching and you don’t have to worry about the teacher calling on you.

Susan … Thanks for your Bill of Rights!

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