I just read a blog post that was basically a rant against those who are content to present e-learning content as mere text on a slide.

What is–alas–always missing from polemics of this type is consideration of the cost/benefit equation.  By cost I mean primarily the designer’s time.  More interactivity and images translates into more time and thus into fewer “slides per hour.”  When the need for content is very high, slides that can be created very quickly generally offer the most benefit for the cost.  They are also much quicker to update as further developments warrant.

I have nothing against incorporating interactivity beyond the “click to advance to the next slide” variety.  Enabling learners to control their progression via scenarios no doubt heightens retention; the questions are “How much?” and “At what cost?”  If the learning objective is essentially to equip the learner to say, “Here at Sorebottom Stables, we offer rides on both horses and ponies,” would saying this via “text on a slide” not be a sufficient presentation of the message?

Ranters about the evils of less-interactive learning designs are doing their clients a disservice when they insist upon turning every slide into a work of art.  Our clients live and die according to the costs versus benefits of their activities.  Let’s see their world through their eyes and serve them accordingly.