Interactive Listicles: Top 10 E-Learning and Instructional Design Tips #324

Interactive Listicles: Top 10 E-Learning and Instructional Design Tips #324

May 20, 2021 Off By JR

I have a back catalogue of small instructional design challenges and charrettes that I’ve been meaning to build into something bigger one day. That is obviously taking too long, so here’s a new idea. The Articulate E-Learning Heroes Community runs a weekly eLearning Challenge. I’ve mentioned before that often different IDs in different contexts will use different tools, and while I’ve used some of Articulate’s products, I’m primarily a Mac user. This means that a number of their products are not available to me. So instead, I thought, rather than being an Articulate eLearning Hero, that I could be an InArticulate eLearning Hero. So here it goes.

This week, your challenge is to share an interactive listicle of 10 things course designers should know about e-learning or instructional design.

What is a listicle? 

listicle is an article that’s written in a list format. The list items are usually expanded into one or more paragraphs making it more like an article.

What format should I use for my list?

Your entry can be a static list, blog post, explainer videos, an interactive graphic, infographic, or anything else you’d like to create.

We hosted a similar challenge four years ago, and the examples were terrific. Here are a few highlights to help you get started.

– David Anderson

10 Things Course Designers Should Know About e-Learning and Instructional Design


This was a pretty wide open challenge, which is both a blessing and a curse. After looking at some of the examples listed from the previous round, I was thinking about what topic I would like to write about. I’ve been thinking about some of the things we IDs often overlook with regards to Mayer’s work, and after having just finished my interactive video presentation (where I didn’t properly apply at least a few principles) I thought it would be a good topics to cover. In my travels, I’ve met many an ID who isn’t familiar with Mayer’s work, so this is a great opportunity.

Listicles tend to be annoying in my view. They are most often thinly veiled clickbait that gives you a series of catchy phrases and not much else to go on. “Show me the thing” is a common refrain I yell at both blogs/listicles/etc and scholarly articles alike – note, the book I referenced for this post is full of great examples that should you the thing! – so I didn’t just want to write the list of principles with short explainers. In addition to that, I didn’t just want to have the user clicking for the sake of revealing the next principle and description, that format is pretty tired.

So what I eventually settled on was the H5P Summary type. This, I thought, would encourage engagement because the reader would have to consider not just what the principle was, but also what that might look like in practice. It is just a first run at the text, so not all of the descriptions are perfect, but I hope they get the idea across. Next, as the correct example is selected, the listicle actually builds itself, so at the end of the activity you have the whole list of 10 – I stopped at 10 becuase that’s what the challenge asked for – items. Everytime the user encounters a set of statements, the i information icon does state the principle which gives a hint as to which might be the correct answer. Finally, I used the feedback of the Summary content type to always provide the same “you should read this book” feedback. Partly because this content type does not allow for item-by-item feedback, but also because even if you answered all ten correctly, there is always more to learn. I also am hoping that having statements that are all pretty close together might tease our commonly held misconceptions or misunderstandings and spark curiosity in the reader which would then in turn, prompt them to engage with the source material.

I hope you enjoyed it!

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

Clark, R., Mayer, R., & O’Reilly Safari, vendor. (2011). e-Learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven Guidelines for Consumers and Designers of Multimedia Learning, Third Edition (1st ed.).