E-learning is the in-thing for learners and organisations looking for online training and education today. As we all know, E-learning is designed for those who would like to go through a course or a program at their own pace and schedule. It gives them the flexibility to learn and work at the same time. Now, for the developers of e-learning content, there is always the challenge of making the content interesting and interactive to capture learners’ attention.
There are many elements to consider when developing e-learning content. These range from developing an effective E-learning strategy to ensuring that the course design is in tandem with the organisation’s vision and values, or with client expectations. Irrespective of the number of courses that an organisation develops, there is always scope for mistakes to creep in. So, every course should be given the same amount of consideration at every stage of development.
As an organisation, you will be smart to avoid these 5 mistakes when developing an e-learning course.
1. Learning objectives or goals that aren’t mapped
Always keep learning objectives in mind when developing an E-learning course. The first step in developing the content is to create actionable learning objectives/aims/goals/outcomes for the course. All the elements from content to graphics to assessments should be mapped to the learning objectives. There is a high risk of developing an ineffective deliverable if you lose track of the learning objectives. Have a clear idea of the information that is to be conveyed through the course to meet learners’ expectations. The assessments/quiz questions should always be developed to match the learning goals. If not done, it is difficult to assess how much the learners’ have understood the course content.
2. Courses that aren’t challenging or interesting enough for the learner
One of the biggest E-learning mistakes is to deliver a course that is not challenging enough for the learner. Learners should feel that they are gaining knowledge and learning something new when they go through the course. If this is not considered when developing the course, the learner will lose interest easily and will not be motivated to learn or complete the course. At the same time, keep in mind, not to design a course that is too complicated, for, this will also demotivate the learners. Including real-life scenarios, stories, case studies, examples, help learners to connect and follow the content easily.
The course should be made interactive by introducing quizzes in the form of questions based on case studies, real-life scenarios, scoring games, movies, projects, the options are vast. Creativity is the mantra to develop interesting interactive products.
3. Content produced without attention to quality
A learner gets hooked to a course only and only when the quality of content is great! Learners should get the feeling that they reap benefits while going through the course. While paying attention to great graphics is good, the same goes for the quality of the content. Errors and poorly written content should be completely avoided. This will make the learner doubt the value of the e-learning course. Poor quality also has an impact on the organisation’s credibility.
4. Content that is text-heavy and abundant with graphics
Let the content be clear and concise. If the content is complex, break it down into small paragraphs or bullet points. Make it simpler and easy to digest by adding adequate supporting facts, images and short descriptions. The learner tends to lose focus and deviates when the content is too descriptive or filled with irrelevant information. Strike a balance between words and images/ graphics usage when designing a course. If too much of graphics is used, again, the learner tends to get bored and may not be inspired to continue learning.
5. Course design that is complicated to maintain, update and upload
Choosing the right type of Learning Management System to upload a course is important. This depends on the type of course being designed and the kind of interactive sessions being built into the course. If an LMS is already available, then the options have to be explored before designing a course. If this is not considered ahead of developing the course, there is a possibility of the entire course being ineffective, if the LMS does not support the design.
Both internal and external stakeholders always look forward to a design that is easy to maintain and update. Therefore, design the course accordingly. For example, if a process/content within the course has been upgraded or modified, there should be leeway to add or change the content at specified levels. This helps avoid reworking the entire course/content to a great extent. It is indeed a cost saver.
Loyalty follows when the design or product is beneficial for the consumer.
For an effective e-learning course, design an engaging course using quality content that has the right balance of text and graphics, set clear goals that are challenging enough for the learner and make sure that the course is easy to maintain and update. If these aspects are taken care of, the course will be a sure success!