Clark Quinn's Learnings about Learning
(The Official Quinnovation blog)

22 March 2006

Some times you just can’t win…

Clark @ 4:57 pm

So I’m at a client site, and talking about their client. I worked hard with my client to develop a document detailing the enhanced learning design we wanted to implement on the behalf of the secondary client, well justified in cognitive science, detailed about use of media, specifying lean and punchy prose, etc., all the stuff everyone from Michael Allen to myself suggests is necessary to make traditional instructional design work for elearning. Which the secondary client agreed to and signed off on.

So, of course, this time I hear a story about how this secondary client took some draft content, ripped out the instructionally designed prose, and dumped in a bunch of technical material; not written for reading on the screen, using too much jargon, and so on. Of course, my client pointed out that this material violated the design guidelines, was inappropriate, etc. And the secondary client agreed but insisted it had to be kept in.

There’s a lot of bad instructional design out there, but not all of it is due to bad design, some of it is due to reasons that are political, social, organizational, and who knows what else. Some times, even when you try your best, you just can’t win…

1 Comment »

  1. It’s hugely frustrating. I can’t remember a project where I didn’t have a suboptimal design aspect imposed upon me, even when I’m working for a development company rather than the end-client! I think it is common in N America and Australia (where I am) for end-clients to either have a fixed idea about how a solution should be shaped or to ignore advice from consultants who are paid to know better. My European colleagues have commented that they generally receive better respect in a consulting role.

    Comment by Ron Lubensky — 22 March 2006 @ 6:02 pm

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