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Reverse Engineering and Play

Being on the cutting edge is the place everyone in every industry wants to be. Complacency is an absolute killer, both literally and figuratively. Reverse engineering other designers work is a method to improve and learn what tactics are being used in todays ever expanding technical workspace. Though reverse engineering sounds complex, it can be viewed as play with the right mind set and drive.

Recently, I reverse engineered a scenario-branching eLearning module that can be found here. It attacks cyber security for travelling businesspeople and had me hooked with the “Matrix” style welcome page.

Here's what got me hooked:

Here's the reverse engineered learning path:

The template I used came from a graduate professor I had while I was studying who we called Dr. G. Click the link below to view that document.

Download DOCX • 604KB

The instructional design field is filled with varying approaches to delivering learning. There is always something an ID can learn from analyzing the work of others in their field. In the example I reverse engineered, I learned a new method to produce quick and effective eLearning that has a high impact without a large time commitment. It was clear, concise, and provided the appropriate feedback to enact change. For me, it was all play. A fun activity to do in my down time that provides benefits to everyone around me.


Clark, R. (2013). Scenario-Based e-Learning. John Wiley & Sons

Link to Module:


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