Online course offers essentials, reminders of learner frustration.

I was ready. Coffee steaming. Note pad and pen within reaching distance. Software and data files downloaded. Laptop fully charged. Signed on and ready to learn all about the Essentials of Captivate 7!

If only my online peers were ready. Some folks had not downloaded the data. One guy didn’t even have the software downloaded. Seventeen minute into the experience I learned that because version 8 was just released, we would be working on two versions throughout training. This did not seem like an environment conducive to positive learning moments. Fortunately, things changed, instructors adapted, I reminded myself to be patient and I did pick up quite a few facts, functions, tricks and ideas to help me to create interactive learning modules.

And, I picked up a few reminders about the educational experience from a learner’s seat.

  1. It is frustrating to wait for unprepared peers. It also impacts perception of the instructional experience.
  2. Certain personality types (read: mine) are probably better suited for self-paced instruction.
  3. Data and examples should be applicable and without complex content. The course developers did a great job here. I was not distracted by the content and focused on the process.
  4. Listening to the questions of others can help to solve related roadblocks and improve comprehension and application.
  5. Internal motivation – something beyond the control of curriculum developers and instructors – will impact preparedness, focus and distracting behaviors.
  6. Immediately practicing a new skill helps to reinforce the lesson.

Yes, I know. We ALL know these points. But do we think about them? Do we prepare for them? How do we deal with them online or in-person?


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