Mind the (learning) gap

Programming tutorial cartoon

This tweet is dead on and it applies to just about any tutorial, not just programming examples.  So many times I’ve been able to follow along with a basic tutorial only to find that when I want to apply that knowledge in another setting I can’t.

When designing learning we need to take this affect into consideration.  Being clear that a tutorial is a basic one is a start.  Perhaps noting that there are a lot of “gotchas” that won’t be covered could help.

I see this as an opportunity.  The gap between Step 1 and Step 2 is where a great deal of learning content could be produced.  It also illustrates how giving out free content can be used to whet the appetite of your audience while leaving a great deal of content that learners might desire in the future.  Whether you are selling content or just trying to interest people in moving forward the moral is the same.

Always leave the learners wanting more.