10 Things Instructional Designers – Well, Me Anyway – Don’t Like to Hear

not-hear-2862309_640Every week, Dave Anderson of Articulate poses a different e-learning challenge. This week, the challenge is “10 Things Instructional Designers Hate to Hear“. Click the link to read the essences of the challenge.

Off the top of my head, here is my list:

  1. No, you don’t need the SME’s contact information. Everything you need is in that 495 page PDF I just placed at your desk.
  2. When? How long do you think you need to just make that 495 page PDF on your desk into a course? I could do it in a day! (and I’m always thinking…fine, you do it then).
  3. Talk to the actual users? Why? That 495 page PDF on your desk tells you everything you need to know in order to train them.
  4. Of COURSE we need a course! If we just emailed a job aid, how can we tell they actually learned everything in the 495 page PDF on your desk?!?
  5. Yes, I agree you should probably touch on what they need to do with this information. But the really interesting stuff is the first 490 pages of the PDF on your desk describing the history of everything.
  6. Can you dress up the course with some pictures or clip art…you know, those string people? I couldn’t figure out how to include them in that 495 page PDF on your desk.
  7. Why do we need a kick-off meeting with the SMEs, actual users, and everyone? Everyone already knows you’re going to take the information in that 495 page PDF that’s gathering dust on your desk.
  8. I know you just finished turning that 495 page PDF document into a course, but I just learned from the SME that was an obsolete document. You’ll need to start over with this 1023 page PDF.
  9. Soft copy? Of the 1023 page PDF? Why do you need a soft copy of anything? Can you just copy and paste?
  10. Oh yeah, we’ve just decided that people need to pass quizzes at the end of each of the 50 chapters in that 1023 page PDF. You can just whip that up tonight, right?

About Tricia Ransom

Patricia Ransom: wife, daughter, friend. Learning, laughing, living. Chicago, Illinois, downstate. Townie, urbanite, traveller. Note: The opinions expressed on this blog belong solely to me and should not be assumed to reflect the opinions of any of my employers past, current, or future.
This entry was posted in ELC, Elearning Challenge, learning and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to 10 Things Instructional Designers – Well, Me Anyway – Don’t Like to Hear

  1. heikan2003 says:

    Love it, well actually I hate it, but can relate. By the way, can you make the course so it advances on its own so they cannot click to go to the next screen? I want to make sure they have “learned” every page.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia Ransom says:

      And can you make it “cool” by forcing them to click on 10 different objects on each screen to find the hidden “treasure”? And, of course, they can’t advance until they’ve clicked on each object…


  2. anon says:

    #11 – “I know I told you A, B and C were the real goals of the course, but I will never use this course you killed yourself making because you didn’t include the 100 pictures I collected over my career (that have nothing to do with A, B, or C).”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. anon says:

    #12 – The 53rd week in a row of hearing “I’ll get the content to you NEXT week” when you know legal deadline for delivering the course is 2 weeks away (or 2 months past!).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. anon says:

    #13 – “We need to send this out to the 2 dozen other SME and get their feedback.”

    Liked by 1 person

  5. anon says:

    #14 – Them: “It doesn’t look anything like I expected.” You: “You refused to meet with me all year to clarify your instructions. You never answered any of my emailed questions.” Them: “Still, you should respect the subject-matter-expert.” This is cathartic!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. anon says:

    #15 – “True I ignored you and this enormous course for a year, but I finally reviewed the 10th version. I’m appalled by how much work it still needs.”
    Me: “Great! What needs changing?”
    Them: “Well, this typo for instance.”

    Liked by 3 people

  7. “Still, you should respect the subject-matter-expert.” LOLOL

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Alan M says:

    Come on Tricia don’t exaggerate.
    You know that ‘Using Cyborg HR’ was only 475 pages.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. #16 “I will be narrating this 1023 page pdf myself.” “Script? Who needs a script?”


  10. Tricia Ransom says:

    Brandie: In a monotone with occasional detours into the complex details of nothingness…

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Epiphany says:

    You don’t need a graphics subscription.


    • Epiphany says:

      “Ask bob to record the narration”. (Bob is a SME with zero time and zero voiceover experience – but he has a laptop with a built in mic and a free afternoon at home watching his 5 year old twins and miniature chihuahua). So that’s logically the best candidate…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia Ransom says:

      Ah, Bob the SME who has the barking dog on all conference calls. Yep, I know Bob.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Tricia Ransom says:

      Graphics? Who needs a graphics subscription? What’s wrong with these 10 yr-old clip art images in the 1023 page PDF on your desk?


  12. Michelle says:

    Brilliant. And, sadly…entirely true!


  13. By the way, can you edit the audio, you know…slow it down and add more time where necessary?


    • Tricia Ransom says:

      Brandie: And by the way, we need to use Bob the SME’s audio…can you take out his yapping chihuahua and the argument he had with his wife about their 5 yr-old twins? And oh yeah, you know how you can photoshop stuff into pictures? Just do that with this audio and make his Texas accent sound British. By tomorrow. Thanks!


  14. Pingback: What Instructional Designers Don’t Want to Hear | NCDLA

  15. Have you seen this before, Tricia? http://www.obsidianlearning.com/samples/destructional_design.html It’s from Monica Savage’s company (Obsidian). @mpsavage

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Tricia Ransom says:

    This is the best video ever! Thank you @mpsavage and Obsidian


  17. Jane says:

    “And when we contracted on this as a 40% new development project, we were being generous. Yeah, there’s no existing instructor guide or participant guide or job aids or design document, but all the information is in that 495-page PDF on your desk, so that counts as 60% of the analysis, design, development, and evaluation.” TRUE STORY.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. Pingback: Examples of ID’s conflict with the organisations they work for | Noura Sa'd: EDTECH Learning Log

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