Find the 20%

Two weeks ago I attended Learning Solutions 2013 in Orlando, FL. Learning Solutions is a place where the eLearning community comes together to learn, share, and connect around the same goal: to create more engaging and effective learning experiences. While I was there I learned some fantastic ideas from some fantastic people. One topic I would like to highlight today is called “Find the 20%.”

The back story of the idea came from a workshop called ‘Designing for Learner Success,’ hosted by Jane Bozarth. She talked about her experiences in the field working with employers to build learning materials. One problem she constantly ran into was the amount of information placed on one slide in a presentation. For example, see the slide below:

This slide describes features of a Great White shark

This slide describes features of a Great White shark, but it has a lot of information.

There is some great information here, but right away it feels like too much. Usually slides don’t have more than a couple of points on them. However, this slide has ten.

The idea behind finding the 20% is to review a slide and pick out the information that is the most important/necessary. It isn’t designed to eliminate essential information, but sift through all of it to make sure if you really need the information in that place at that time. Look again at that slide. Is there anything you could take out of it but still get the important information across?

How about this?

This sldie describes the features of a Great White shark

While less information, it’s much clearer.

As you can see the slide layout is still the same, but the information is clear and concise. Nothing in this slide seems extraneous.

By using this idea I was able to sift through the material and come up with something else. Try using this idea when creating your presentation materials! You may find it make the process of creating learning materials quicker and easier.

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