Monday, March 13, 2006

Search across courses: Addressing Learner Impatience

Research has shown that the attention span of most internet users is only a few seconds. With such a clear trend, expecting users to take long courses online might just be asking for too much. This does not mean that there aren't users who would not sit through an online self-paced course. The truth is there are many who simply don't have the patience. In the Internet Age we live in, its all about information and news being mere mouse clicks away. Inshort, there is universal impatience and an obsession with instant gratification.

We were quick to recognize this at Vitalect and we have tuned our platform to address this issue of "learner impatience". Very often learners would run into situations where they know that they did come across some content in a particular course but do not recall the details of the course. On other occasions learners might just want to know about a specific issue or topic. The content in these cases could be a part of a specific course. At the same time the user might not have the patience to go through the entire course. To address this challenge, we have incorporated a "search across courses" functionality. This means users can login and search for any content and retrieve the specific content as well as its larger context ("the course").