Conference Highlight: Answer-Judging: Where eLearning Platforms Fall Short



Training 2012 Conference & Expo speaker Ethan Edwards points out a tragic schism between in-person training and elearning, and offers a tool to bridge the gap.

As instructors, we all know that the best learning occurs when learners are challenged, make mistakes, get specific individualized instructional feedback, and then get the opportunity to practice.

Unfortunately, most elearning platforms are limited to providing simple “right” or “wrong” feedback. But what if a student has done everything right but perhaps has done things in the wrong order; or if there are three possible “ok” ways to do something; or if the learner is half right but also half wrong?

In my experience, when instructional designers are teaching in person, they have all sorts of clever and meaningful approaches to giving feedback. When designing for elearning, they are faced with a mountain range of technical problems, and default to binary yes/no judgments.  This definitely seems like a case where we know what we’d like to do, but are kept from doing it by the limitations of the tools we have at our disposal.
One tool to address these concerns is ZebraZapps by Allen Interactions.  It includes Answer-Judging Tables, State Tables, and Truth Tables, which make it possible to respond to these and other answer-judging puzzles.  These mechanisms allow you to define required elements, optional elements, ordering, and partial answer judging all in one compact logic table.
Attend Ethan’s Training 2012 Conference & Expo session, and you will:

  • Build a sample interaction in 20 minutes
  • Explore options for combining media into interactions with ease
  • Discover the power of sketching and prototyping ideas and seamlessly working these prototypes into actual activities



About Ethan Edwards

Ethan Edwards draws on more than 25 years of industry experience as an e-learning instructional designer and developer. He is responsible for the delivery of the internal and external training and communications that reflect Allen Interactions’ unique perspective on designing and developing meaningful and memorable e-learning programs. Edwards is the primary instructor for ASTD’s e-Learning Instructional Design Certificate Program. In addition, he is an internationally recognized speaker on instructional design and e-learning.

You can connect with Ethan at or on Twitter at @ZebraZapps.