Superstitions around learning aren’t propagated as explicit claims about what people should do, so much as they are prevalent practices that persist despite their lack of value. And such beliefs can influence decisions in terms of products to support learning design or the learning design itself. They may be embodied in the feature suite of authoring tools or emerge in practice. In either case, if they’re not valuable, they’re wasted effort and lead to bad design.

Many learning superstitions are driven by expediency. It appears that when we try to accomplish the holy trinity of product creation (fast, cheap, and good), the reality usually ends up as a “pick two” compromise erring on the side of fast and cheap. When a designer ...

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