If you had to pick your favourite e-learning interaction, which would it be, and why? For me it’s easy: the myth and reality screen takes the top spot. “But why?” I hear you cry. Here are my top three reasons (although I do have many more!):

Simplicity

Myth and reality screens are the simplest form of drag and drop interactions and that’s one of the reasons why I like them. I’ve seen complicated interactions where the learner has to drag hundreds of boxes to a multitude of different places, but I’m not always convinced how effective this really is. The screen is jam-packed, there’s too much to read and, if I’m being honest, I just find myself randomly dragging the boxes to anywhere on the screen to see if they stick. The whole process is tedious and becomes a race against time to see how long it’ll take to make the Next button appear. But with myth and reality screens it’s different. There are only two destinations to drag to so it’s not so overwhelming trying to make a decision. You also only get one statement at a time which allows you to really consider each piece of information carefully and absorb the learning. And you get the satisfaction of receiving feedback regularly throughout the process which helps to maintain motivation.

Versatility

The myth and reality screen can be your saving grace in a wide variety of situations. Have you ever found yourself asking the learner a multiple choice quiz question for which all of the answers are correct? Avoid falling into the ‘All of the above apply’ trap and use your imagination to create some myths and adapt these into a myth or reality screen. Do you often struggle to find a way to include a long list of facts and figures in a course? With a bit of careful tweaking the long list can be transformed into a myth busting exercise where the learner plays the starring role. Ever found yourself overusing scenarios, that is, having sequences of text and image or conversation screens followed by a ”What would you do next?“ quiz question? Go to your friend, the good old myth and reality interaction, and use it to help the learner practise identifying the correct courses of action.

Engagement

Have you ever watched Mythbusters? People love it when a commonly thought truth is exposed as a myth and this can happen in an e-learning course. Adding an element of ”Oh, I didn’t know that!” helps to keep your learners awake and interested. And it’s easy to ‘jazz up’ a myth and reality screen with graphics or an element of gaming to further help keep the learner engaged. For example, why not have the learner literally screw up and throw the myths into a rubbish bin? Or use a points system on that screen to see how many myths they can bust. We’re in a world of instant gratification and it’s quick and easy to achieve this with a simple myth and reality screen.

Here are a few of my favourite uses for the myth or reality screen:

  • To introduce the key themes of a course
  • To dispel misconceptions
  • To identify problems or issues
  • To practise what you should and shouldn’t do
  • To recap on learning points
  • And probably more!

I could go on explaining more of the reasons why I love this type of screen but I’ll save that for another blog. Instead, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts. Do you agree or disagree that myth and reality screens are the best interactions (sorry, you can’t drag and drop your answer here!), or do you have a different favourite interaction, and why?

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This article was written on Friday, May 14th, 2010 by Jennifer Wrigley

Category: Blog, Instructional design
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4 Responses to “What’s your favourite e-learning interaction?”

  • Mike Says:

    Love the post I think that you are right on. I use to use the acronym KISS Keep It Simple Stupid. I often use this with my students when they begin their projects. I often keep it in mind when I develop lessons and projects. I think that I will add versatility and engagement to KISS and that would be a great educational acronym for educators.

  • Janetta Barker Says:

    I think this is a great strategy that speaks to attention and learning…it’s unpredictable, so it keeps the user engaged. It’s fun, interactive, and analytical at the same time, tapping different sensory registers at once.

  • Mark Berthelemy Says:

    My favourite elearning interaction is with a person who answers my question, or, even better, challenges my point of view.

  • Do fact checks and trivia games have a place in e-learning? | Good To Great Says:

    [...] the course.) Check out this post from the Spicy Learning Blog for more about the virtues of the myth and reality [...]

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