How old were you when you got your first phone? I was about 13 years old, it was Christmas, and it was all I had asked for that year. It was the new thing, however what I got wasn’t some fancy smart phone , it was an old school, simple, flip phone.
This weekend, I had a bit of car trouble that required my car to be towed from my home to a local dealership to be fixed. Nothing special, happens all the time, right? Well, not exactly. I came out of my house to greet the tow truck driver to make sure he knew where to take the car, etc. In doing so, I noticed he didn’t have a mask on but didn’t worry about it because we were distancing ourselves (6 feet) per CDC recommendations, and we were outside. As we were talking, he shared with me the consequences of masks for those with a hearing disability. He shared that he cannot always hear well and relies on reading lips to communicate.
Now hear this ……. You are no Robin Thicke and Pharell ……. I mean sure, you are probably pretty cool, but as a learning designer, we implore you ……no blurred lines. Ok – so all silliness aside, let’s get serious for a moment about accessibility and digital learning product. Image if you will being John Every Employee. You have asked John to complete a mandatory training course – you know – code of conduct, keep out of company jail kind of stuff that we are all so excited to do every year…..repeat after us “I solemnly swear I am up to no good….” – ok we are there. But John can’t launch the course – and it is not because he has a browser issue or even an issue with the course itself per se.
As learning designers, can we all agree that eLearning is dead? I’m not trying to be controversial, but eLearning conjures notions of bad PowerPoint-like courses (no offense PowerPoint, we still love you, but only when appropriate). You know the ones we’re talking about—the courses where your mouse hovers over the “next” button in anticipation of when you can advance to the next slide. It’s the courses with the excruciatingly slow voiceover, the click-until-you-get-it-right knowledge check, and the grand-finale quiz that serves as our shining beacon that this experience will eventually end. So, we feverishly click “next” through slide after slide, just to end the experience.