The Takeaway Toolbox 1: basic customisation for improving takeaways

Key Takeaway: Good takeaways aren’t too long and provide an answer to the question.

The takeaway is the white popup box which displays when a user answers a question. Editable in the “Answer text” field on every interactive slide in the LMS, it’s used to explain and reinforce the content of the question. It’s an important part of a slide - without it there’s no follow up to provide more information about the answer, why it’s important and what they should do with this knowledge.


In this article we’re going to review some common mistakes we see first time users making in Ed, and cover what we think makes a good takeaway.

Common mistakes

Sometimes people want to fit as much information as they can into a takeaway, and turn a short interactive question into a short interactive question and a boring slog of background reading.

Mistake - too long

Yikes! There’s nothing micro about that lesson!

Remember, Ed is all about presenting information to users in an interactive, question and answer based format - new information shouldn’t be just presented in a takeaway. If your takeaway is taking away half of the users’ screen, you should reduce its size. Try bullet pointing the key information, and splitting it up into separate takeaways for use in other slides.

For example, the above takeaway contains three key messages:

  1. If customers are just looking for cheap products, you should be directing them towards buying Product X because it’s a higher quality product.

  2. Even though Product Y is the cheapest product, around 80% of people end up buying Product X over Product Y.

  3. You should talk about how Product X tends to last up to 4 years, compared to Product Y which has an average life expectancy of 1 year.

Which has been split up to create the slides below:

Takeaway - manageable

Splitting up a long takeaway over three bitesized slides makes it much more manageable for your users to retain.

Another mistake we see is admins adding “That’s right!” or “Well done, you got it!” to the takeaway text content. We’re all for celebrating with your users when they are doing well, but if they get a question wrong and see this text it puts across a confusing message.

Takeaway - confusing

Not quite, That’s right, 40%, 80%. What’s the right answer here?

Underneath the “Answer Text” field in the LMS there are two further textboxes: “Correct reinforcement” and “Incorrect reinforcement”. Here you can edit the short bolded text which displays at the top of the takeaway when users get a question correct or incorrect.

Takeaway - offer encouragement

You can still offer encouragement to your users without it being confusing

The final common takeaway error is not fully explaining the right answer for the question. This is especially true in templates such as Connect or Ratio in which there are a few cases where a user can get a question wrong.

Takeaway - fully explain

Why is this wrong? I said that Product X lasts for 5 years!

Make sure that a user can tell what the answer to the question is. Even if they get the question right, this acts as a good reinforcement of the content.

Takeaway - fully explain

Oh right! So Product Y lasts for 2 years!

To review, a good takeaway should:

  1. Tell the user the correct answer to the question
  2. Not contain any “That’s right!” text outside of the “correct reinforcement” boxes
  3. Not be too long.

Good Takeaway Toolbox

Like this! That’s much better.

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