Real-time reflection: experience of completing a Learning Object

Complex UML drawing with an annotated printout in my sketchbook

As part of my day job, I had to complete a Learning Object (as a learner/student) and decided to take the opportunity to reflect on what the experience was like from an end user perspective. Throughout the process, I considered what went well, what could have worked better and what I felt was missing. This exercise resulted in something of a structural epiphany. I realised that I had missed some vital steps in the conceptual model, this was further borne out when I started my wireframe drawings and found that there were things that simply did not add up. Below is my, step-by-step written account of my experience in the Learning Object, I have highlighted sections of particular significance. My next post will outline some of the decisions that took place from December 16th onward.

Note: this Learning Object has a longer duration than the one that I am building (about an hour in total). I took some screenshots for personal reference, but I cannot include them in this narrative as it is a proprietary system protected by copyright.

  • Includes a title page

  • Opens in a new window and features an audio narrative that matches written information on-screen

  • Has a keyboard shortcut clearly defined for navigation through the learning object. The keyboard shortcut is “c” this is not the most comfortable key on the keyboard to use. For right-handed people the arrow keys are in a better position. I am interested in why they chose “c”. I think that spacebar might offer a better experience for right-handed and left-handed people and also has an association with start and stop, due to its use in YouTube and other video streaming services as a start/stop video option.

  • Has a menu which persists throughout the LO with settings options clearly visible.

  • Allows the option to replay each section or skip to the next.

  • Has integrated accessibility tools to adjust: colour scheme (background colour for the most part), audio on/off and subtitles. Also has a zoom and menu for accessing all settings that shows in each view at the top-right of the window.

  • visual pointers are shown to guide the user in the first screens.

  • Includes an initial tour of the interface. How to save - how to adjust the view, sound settings etc.

  • After that there is a welcome video outlining the content of the LO and the learning outcomes.

  • Topic menu is shown on one page with a brief description of each topic and the time that it will take to complete the topic.

  • Certificate is included on the topics menu which is something that I have been considering for my LO.

  • Within the learning topics or lessons - multiple choice questions are included for comment and then follows up with integrated feedback. Most of the questions state, “what’s your opinion…”. This is helpful in terms of the soft side of considering accessibility issues.

  • Once you have answered the questions the narrative voice of the LO either agrees or partially agrees with the answers which are given by the user. Providing definitions and points to remember along the way.

  • Uses display of very basic pie charts to show performance in certain areas, this is not particularly effective.

  • Important to show progress through the lesson.

  • There is not a test for each section - they have a test at the end.

  • In each section the pages have the same layout, but the content on the page is flexible.

  • Help question mark button goes to an online help guide about the generic use of the LO. However I was hoping for more of a Glossary to support one of the questions that I am being asked. NOTE to self- “I need a GLOSSARY” (said in the voice of the Knights who say ni).

  • When you get something wrong, you kind of what to un-do it and then get it right. I think that building in a replay function for each question section is essential.

  • Final test - is accessed from the main menu. This is not a timed test. Feedback is provided on a per-question basis.

  • It is important to give people the option to take the test more than once to allow them to improve their score.

  • Answers are shuffled the next time that you take the test.

  • Scenario-based questions are shuffled, so one question is different from the first time.

Fiona MacNeill
Fiona MacNeill
Learning Consultant &
UX Researcher

Passionate about creating inclusive and accessible experiences, tools, and services for learning and doing.