Recently I encountered a situation where in order for learners to gain access to videos they needed to watch, they had to log into one web site, then open a new browser tab to log into another site, then go back to the first to watch the videos. This isn’t too difficult for most – but some learners who did not understand terms like “open new tab”, “browser” or “address bar” had issues. I set out to improve the instructions, then realised that they were blowing out to half a page. The penny dropped. It wasn’t the instructions that needed improving.
The situation is resolved now and all need for instructions beyond click to play has been eliminated.
This morning, my husband was chuckling over this video and I thought it the perfect illustration of what happens when trying to solve a learner performance issue through detailed instructions — when all this guy really needed was either a) a horse or b) to say “follow me”.