September 3, 2009

Send Me Examples of Really Bad Training

Over the last few weeks, we have taken some time to look at some of the other training producers in the "industrial safety" or "elearning" categories. We've gotten some demo accounts and gotten a chance to see the material that our "competitors" have created. So far, I'm just astounded at how bad it can be. I don't think it will do any good to name names, but I would like to share some examples of what we've seen to highlight how lousy training can be.

1980s Clipart
I know graphics don't make the presentation, but they certainly can break it. A lot of the industry uses cheesey clipart, but we saw a course that goes from child-like clipart, to photos, to 3-frame animated GIFs. How can you expect someone to remain concentrated and take the training seriously when it looks like a joke?

Multiple Learning Styles
Most of the courses we saw didn't even attempt to provide support for multiple learning styles. The biggest example is when the narration doesn't match text on screen. There were several instances where the text was completely different than the narration, which in my opinion, makes it hard to follow along and forces a viewer to either listen, or look, but not both.

The "Interactive" lie
"Interactive" is a term that seems to be thrown around very loosely. It seems like some authors consider a multiple choice question "interactive". And while, yes, it does require an interaction, clicking a radio button isn't going to create any lasting memories or enhanced involvement with the subject being taught.

Challenging Thoughts
One of the courses we looked at consisted entirely of multiple choice questions. Besides being boring, the questions did not prevent you from moving forward until you choose the correct answer. A couple of random guesses per page and you are through in no time. Where is the challenge to think? Where is the actual measurement of what was learned?

On a professional level, I'm disappointed that so many of our competitors frequently highlight the same lousy, badly-produced, outdated training.
On a personal level, I'm disappointed that consumers are purchasing this type of training, thereby reinforcing these producers.

Send me examples of really BAD training you've seen!
If you've noticed any of these things, or others that I haven't discussed, I'd love to see examples. Click on the "X comments" below, or send me an email at

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