Slide 2 from Jen Hegna’s MoodleMayhem Episode 9 Presentation – View it online

Thanks to the excellent prep work of Diana Benner–which helped me better appreciate Adobe Connect as a webinar platform–the Moodle Mayhem LIVE Chat with Jen Hegna went off without a hitch! Although the audience was small, you can catch the whole presentation–essentially, a video recording–online at the Moodle Mayhem web site page setup for today’s episode.

Jon Fila ( took the time to share his reflections on today’s Podcast on his blog. Here’s an excerpt from Jon’s email summarizing his blog entry:

Here’s are reasons for why you might/might not design courses like this.

  • The extra time it takes to create these is more than made up.
  • It gets easier.
  • Teachers need to take more care in the presentation/design of their content.

It is safe to say that the first bullet really goes towards addressing Jim Judge’s question, which was the same thought crossing my mind–Compact Course Design looks like a LOT of work. That thought is immediately countermanded by the understanding that such work is well-worth the results.

Jon makes the following point in his blog entry, extending the conversation Jen began in her preso on MoodleMayhem Show:

Visual appeal matters. Like it or not, teachers have to learn some elements of design to sell their content. I had an interesting discussion with an IT person once who asked why I spend so much time on layout/design of content. I could just upload the text/PDF files the old way. He couldn’t wrap his head around why someone would not just read what they were supposed to. Even if they did, I would still argue that participants will remember more of the content if they are visually engaged.

Certainly, visual appeal makes a difference. As a person who made an F in kindergarten and never improved his visual design skills, I have found this to be a tough realization. While my focus is on the written word, I often have to partner and rely on others to create visually appealing content.
DesignFlair blogger points this out in this opening paragraph about blogging (10 Steps to a Killer Blog), and, obviously, it’s a human thing. We are often attracted to the beautiful.

No matter how much marketers say otherwise, an attractive design is a significant influence to bounce rate and what visitors think of your site (yes, I had to emphasize this). Design is about making information more legible, and attractiveness is one factor that affects usability. 

It’s a perspective that has found advocates:

Considering what we discussed earlier about cognitive loads, you can already see how this approach is effective for elearning.  The learner is better able to understand and process the information, making it more memorable… to lessen the cognitive load you can:

  • progressively reveal information
  • condense the text on the screen
  • replace text with relevant images

Read more at, which has an great blog entry on this topic and eLearning.

Jon Fila includes more advice online in this entry. It makes me wonder how much longer before all of us are following in these footsteps?

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure