Breaking more rules

No fishing sign--Image from

Yvonne Mery and Andrew See (2014) listed ten rules for creating tutorials:

  1. State your learning outcomes
  2. Address different learning styles
  3. Use images
  4. Use both audio and text
  5. Treat your tutorial as a whole class
  6. Give step-by-step instructions
  7. Use an academic tone
  8. Use knowledge checks
  9. Use menu navigation
  10. Set time constraints

Then they discussed when to break these rules.

For Rules Five and Eight the proposed alternatives were what I had understood as best practices.  Mery and See (2014) recommended mini-tutorials instead of a full-scale tutorial.  Likewise they suggested scenarios or practical applications, not knowledge checks.

More surprising was the advice to break Rule Four.  Audio and text together lead to cognitive overload, though, and we can meet ADA guidelines in other ways.  For example we can offer alternate versions, closed captioning, or screen reader compatibility.

The most surprising rule to break was Rule One.  While learning outcomes can guide us in creating the tutorial, they don’t always add value when stated for the user.

Check last week’s post for coverage of the other rules.  With thanks to Yvonne Mery and to Andrew See, here are some links to model tutorials:


Mery, Y., & See, A. (2014, September 16). You’re doing it wrong: Ten rules to break to create awesome tutorials [Archived presentation]. Retrieved from