More on the “instructional text” tweet

So a bit of explanation on what I was going on about here:

Basically I was looking to discuss this topic as I have been seeing a lot of content publicly available (branded as eLearning of some type) which can be difficult to use as its unclear what to do from a learning perspective.  Whilst as learning designers we have tended to move away from boring instructions and learning objectives it feels like there is still work to be done.

I guess that I am ultimately thinking is we need to move from:

“This eLearning is made up of x modules and take xx minutes to complete”

type stuff to better prompts for action, something like:

“This activity is designed with moments for you to reflect throughout, therefore you need to pay attention and potentially take notes to help with your recollection”.

Why? Well we hear a lot about difficulties around concentration and focus.  Personally I fall into the trap of treating “learning content” online like I would treat other material.  Am I alone in feeling a need to be actively prompted to pay attention? Would we just ignore such advice if it did exist?

When looking for any formal research on this I did stumble across the below article which is quite good on instructional design more generally but I could not find anything too specific on the topic my tweet introduced…

Instructional Design and eLearning: A Discussion of
Pedagogical Content Knowledge as a Missing Construct

Click to access EJ846720.pdf

Author: iangardnergb

My name is Ian Gardner and I am interested in various topics that can be seen as related to learning, technology and information. To see what I am reading elsewhere, follow me on The Old Reader ( and/or Twitter (@iangardnergb).

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