Discovery Through Elearning – Blog

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Judging My Own Work: A Response

I just read through David Kelly’s blog posting “Judgement in a Vacuum” and I’m very glad he has brought this up.

This is my response that I would like to share with David and you:

Thanks for sharing this David.  This idea of knowing the context around projects is very true of my own work.  It is something that I personally struggle with internally each time I’m required to design a course.  Sometimes I have weeks to get it done and other times a matter of days, and sometimes even quicker then that.  I struggle with those instances where I know I’m not making something as interactive and engaging as possible.  It feels like I’m turning my back on all that I know to be right.  However, as you mentioned knowing the context that surrounds any given project is extremely important. There is often no choice but to throw up a slide deck on the LMS and hope the message/learning gets across to those that need to reference it.

I’d love to have as much time/$ to spend on the projects that are handed to me, but the reality is I’m a department of one and I have 10 projects as of today that are all requesting me to have them done by the end of April.  Someone is not going to get what they want.  Often that someone is me and my internal struggle to ensure I am measuring up to the “industry standards”.   Just this past winter I had a project with amazing potential for more extensive interaction and gaming elements.  Due to many personal and professional setbacks, I had to abandon the design and start over with a simpler quick-out-the-door option.  Not what I wanted to do.  Not what I strived and was excited to design.  In the end the deadline for the project to be launch outweighed the development and design process I had initially started.

As you said, I love that these big ideas/standards/best practices are shared with the community.  We all need them.  Without them how do any of us ever improve and hone our skills.  I keep each and every one that is shared with me locked away in my “design ideas vault” and pull them out and apply them where and when I can.  However, I too would love to know that I’m not being judge about my skill level because this week I had to throw up a slide deck filled with bullet points because some new regulation has just been thrown at our industry.

To the community, please please keep sharing and pushing the boundaries of the industry.  I value every morsel of information you share with me.  We all need to be just a little kinder and understanding know that I, along with many others, just cannot and will not be able to always use every one of those best practice.  But know that very openly I do want to and seek out those opportunities where I can do so and in the end hope to shine a little brighter.

Image: “Letters Play Important Roles in our Lives” by William Arthur Fine Stationery, CC BY-ND 2.0


  1. MAnnisMAnnis04-11-2014

    Great post. For me, the real skill/talent is being able to design something that engages learners despite unrealistic project deadlines and limited resources (whether it be availability of people or tools).

    • tparishtparish04-11-2014

      That’s it exactly. I have a phrase on my wall that a friend shared with me….

      “We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, fo so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing.”


  2. Justin McDonoughJustin McDonough04-11-2014

    It can be hard, but sometimes I just have to be satisfied when I know I did the best I could given the constraints placed on me.

  3. besteevesbesteeves05-06-2014


    Is the need to “throw up a deck” there to simply satisfy the requirements for some kind of training to accompany the new regulation? If so, then your frustration will continue. If your employer can say that there is training available will satisfy their need; your frustration will continue.

    For these situations, you simply have to set them aside and concentrate on the modules that give you satisfaction. Your employer will soon see the difference. Whether they react to these differences is out of your hands.

    I know that you always do your best always.

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