E-learning courses are indispensable tools for L&D professionals who need to support employees to gain extensive knowledge in the professional world. Designing a great e-learning course that ultimately improves employee productivity requires a lot of time, effort and hard work.
A small designing mistake could result in the waste of all the efforts and negatively impact the efficiency of the training program. It is, therefore, important for e-learning designers to understand the needs of the target audience and stick to e-learning advanced principles.
However, before you start creating the online courses, you need to know the mistakes that often designers make.
7 e-learning mistakes to avoid
Let’s discuss seven e-learning mistakes that any instructional designer needs to avoid when creating an online training course.
Creating unsuitable learning material
One of the most common mistakes that most designers do while creating online courses is that they add excessive filler content. However, a great e-learning course requires a rather short, crisp and engaging piece of content so that every bit of information could contribute to the learning of a certain topic. If you incorporate unnecessary information, you will end up with a huge cluttered course that is useless for the learners. They will get bored and will find something else to focus on sooner rather than later.
Converting traditional lessons into e-learning courses
Most instructors try to convert the traditional lessons into e-learning courses, which shouldn’t be the case. Usually, learners find the traditional way of learning very time-consuming if not downright boring because of all the lengthy lectures, unnecessary information, and preparation of notes. If the e-learning courses are the exact copy of traditional lessons, trainees will not spend much time on them. Therefore, while creating these courses, designers need to understand the actual requirements of the target audience and incorporate the unique, informative and engaging content into it.
Unclear e-learning objectives
Like any other type of training or learning course, online courses also require some clear objectives that should be aligned with both those of the company’s and those of the learners’. A lack of such objectives will make any course ineffective and haphazard. It is, therefore, crucial to set goals and define a clear objective so that the learners find your course beneficial for their business needs. Determining goals will also make your content creation work easier and quicker.
Paying no attention to learners feedback
Plenty e-learning designers often make the mistake of not asking for, nor make decisions based on what their learners have to say about the course. If you do so, learners feel unimportant and they eventually stop going through your e-learning materials. You must understand the needs of your target audience and start taking their feedback seriously. All you need to do is take your time and research well about the topics that your learners want and need to go through and then find the best way to incorporate that knowledge in your courses.
Inappropriate media application
One of the most common mistakes that instructors make while designing e-learning courses is that they don’t use media files appropriately. Either the media is used in a random way or it is totally absent in the entire course. To make your content attractive, it is crucial to incorporate related images and/or video content in the right place. Sometimes, the information that you want to deliver to your learners is simply conveyed better by using media files. Also, pay attention to image and video quality and sound quality — the better these are, the greater impact they’ll have on the learner’s experience.
Including generic lessons
E-learning courses should not include generic lessons as it may spoil the learners’ interest. Instructors unintentionally make the mistake of incorporating excessive generic content, when they pick up the entire content from a single website or presentation. A better way to go about this is to make appropriate segments of your content and then sub-categories depending on the knowledge they provide. This way, learners can choose the topic according to their interest. Another amazing way to make your e-learning course stand out is to sprinkle some gamification in it.
Excluding interactive elements
Another most common mistake designers do while designing e-learning courses is that they do not make use of interactive elements such as music, real-life stories, interactive scenarios, infographics and other interactive elements. All these help in increasing the engagement of the learners and certainly improve their experience. If you use interactivity in your e-learning courses, the trainees will enjoy learning more.
Before creating e-learning courses there are several things that professional instructional designers need to keep in mind. Firstly, you must understand your target audience and their requirements and design any training course based on that. Secondly, research and make sure your objectives are aligned with what the company needs and what trainees have to learn. And only after that you have to go ahead and incorporate the well-researched quality content which is rich in information and knowledge into the course.
Now that you know which mistakes you need to avoid when creating online training courses, bring it into action and offer the best e-learning experience to your learners!
Author: Kamy Anderson
Kamy Anderson is an ed-tech enthusiast with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of corporate training and education. He is an expert in learning management system & e-learning authoring tools.