Jan 28, 2013

Bullets are Bad, Questions are Good

Over the years I've encountered several courses about how to write good e-mails. They have all come to me in the same way -- a list of dos and don'ts. Frankly, it's not the way to describe it in a face-to-face setting and especially a bad idea in e-learning. Bulleted lists turn learners into zombies.

So the list comes in looking something like this:
  • Use correct spelling
  • Use correct capitalization
  • Avoid all caps
  • Skip lines between paragraphs
  • Avoid fancy fonts
  • Don't go crazy with the font colors
  • Use bold to show emphasis
Who wants to read a list like that? More importantly, who is going to remember this? Let's turn it into a question using examples of the behavior discussed.


Which would you prefer as a learner? More importantly, which is the learner likely to remember after taking the course? I strongly argue to do what you can to turn a bullet list into a question or some other type of engaging content. Bullets are simply bad in e-learning.

How have you handled boring bullet lists?

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