Monday, 11 August 2014

eLearning Manifesto - 20 Supporting Principles

The Key to Success?
"We believe that learning technology offers the possibility for creating uniquely valuable learning experiences.
We also believe, with a sense of sadness and profound frustration, that most elearning fails to live up to its promise.
We further believe that current trends evoke a future of only negligible improvement in elearning design—unless something radical is done to bend the curve."
This is the preamble to the eLearning Manifesto ( put together by Michael Allen, Julie Dirksen, Clark Quinn and Will Thalheimer. 
They set out 20 supporting principles:
  • Do Not Assume that Learning is the Solution
  • Do Not Assume that eLearning is the Answer
  • Tie Learning to Performance Goals
  • Target Improved Performance
  • Provide Realistic Practice
  • Enlist Authentic Contexts
  • Provide Guidance and Feedback
  • Provide Realistic Consequences
  • Adapt to Learner Needs
  • Motivate Meaningful Involvement
  • Aim for Long-term Impact
  • Use Interactivity to Prompt Deep Engagement
  • Provide Support for Post-Training Follow-Through
  • Diagnose Root Causes
  • Use Performance Support
  • Measure Effectiveness
  • Iterate in Design, Development, and Deployment
  • Support Performance Preparation
  • Support Learner Understanding with Conceptual Models
  • Use Rich Examples and Counterexamples
  • Enable Learners to Learn from Mistakes
  • Respect Learners

I agree with the above principles as they, in part, overlap with my games based learning manifesto ( They also have a venn-like link to a blog I wrote regarding Marrying up to Situated Learning Theory  (

Here is a video where the four announced their manifesto:

Oh and for balance, it is worth not everyone appreciates the top down approach to defining a manifesto. Have read of Donald Clark Plan B  ( . And here is another cutting and funny parody ( from EqSim Ruminations. The latter makes some interesting generalised criticisms of e-Learning industry, which are valid in their own way and is probably the reason I have focused most of my efforts on learning simulation for the last decade. 

In conclusion, I think well designed e-Learning and simulations/games both have their place BUT what is key is making sure that they are learner focused and they deliver against the required needs and outcomes. And not lets crow bar in an ill-fitting solution that is simply about cutting costs.

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