Home > General eLearning Design, Instructional Design - General > eLearning – Dominance Through Marginal Gains

eLearning – Dominance Through Marginal Gains

I recently read a wonderfully uplifting article on the successes of the GB Cycling Team – http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/olympics/19174302

Basically, the concept goes that if you can break down EVERYTHING that goes into riding a bike, and improve each by 1%, then the overall improvement will be massive. This applies not only to the skills required to ride, but also (for example), in having the same pillow each night when away from home. If you can wash your hands a little bit better, then you will be a little less sick, and be able to ride a little bit better.

What a wonderfully simple way to actively change the way we create eLearning!

Use a few less words, or one more graphic.  Speak to one more user to get the “real” perspective of an SME-driven course. Make your Invoice slightly easier to read, or get it in one day earlier than usual? Use one more interaction instead of bullet points.

There are, I’m sure hundreds of things like this that we can all do when creating our courses, and just think of how much better your “product” will be at the end of a year. We can Go for Gold” too.

I would love to collect a list of simple things that can be done – will start a thread over on the “Building Better Courses” area at eLearning Heroes just in case anyone feels like chiming in.


  1. August 17, 2012 at 10:23 am

    Hi Bruce,

    A wonderful principle! Break down to the real basic stuff and improve each one just a little bit. This isn’t difficult to do and will indeed greatly improve the end result (and the way you go through life).

    I did something similar by making everything a 3 step process. When you think about it, you can do anything in just 3 steps. When a single step is too difficult to do at once, break it into 3 more steps. Do this until you have tasks that are easy to do in little time.

    Combining this with your principle makes success something inevitable I would say!

    Thanks again!


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