10 eLearning Course Development Mistakes
- Attempting to turn traditional training into an eLearning course
This is one of the most common mistakes a company or educational institution can make. eLearning has different instructional needs, requires different methods and means, and needs to be compact and concise. For more info please check: How to convert a face to face course to an eLearning format.
- Vague objectives and lack of vision
A successful eLearning course should aim to the needs and requirements of its specific audience. Consequently, the instructional designer needs to develop a crystal clear set of objectives, based on what exactly this eLearning course is trying to accomplish.
- Unfocused, poor and unstructured content
The eLearning course’s content needs to be well-structured, in easily digestible bits, with clear examples, frequent quizzes to keep the audience alert, and most importantly to the point. For more info you may find useful: How to measure eLearning content effectiveness.
- Using generic off-the-shelf eLearning courses
Off-the-shelf training programs can in certain cases be quite effective and inexpensive. However, if you are planning on attracting a specific audience with more complicated needs and a solid professional background, this is not the way to go. Effectiveness can only be achieved through a customized courseware, which will be based on your audience’s particular needs. For more info you may find valuable: When to use pre-built eLearning courses and when fully customized eLearning courses?
- Lack of evaluation
The goal of an eLearning course should be to give learners the opportunity to acquire knowledge and then implement it on the job. This knowledge should be frequently tested and evaluated. Try to implement quizzes, surveys and practical exercises to follow up on your audience’s understanding and progress, instead of just shoving chunks of information that only require some passive viewing.
- Unsuccessful use of media
Don’t think for a minute that the aesthetic quality of your eLearning doesn’t count in the eyes of your learners. A catchy course can be quite effective. Try to have a solid script, impressive visuals, characters, short segments, and high quality sound.
- Attempting to create an eLearning course internally
Some companies might think that it’s easy to create an eLearning course with what they have, in an attempt to save money and time. Truth is that instructional designers are out there for a reason. They know exactly what it takes to make an eLearning course successful and even if something goes wrong, they know from where to get the information to fix it. Don’t sacrifice money over quality and efficiency, cause in the long-run this option will be costlier and eventually more time-consuming.
- Lack of interactivity
The absence of a real classroom, a real audience and a real instructor have to be replaced, in order for an eLearning course to be successful. An eLearning course should boast interactive features, like games, quizzes, and challenging scenarios, deeply engaging the audience.
- Failure to learn from the mistakes of the past
The greatest perhaps advantage of an eLearning course is that it doesn’t need to be recreated from scratch if something isn’t working. This is exactly why audience feedback is essential. Ask your learners to tell you what they appreciated most or least in your course. Try to correct whatever went wrong with some fine-tuning or by seeking the advice of a more experienced or specialized professional.
- Unsuccessful or inexistent marketing
So maybe you have the greatest eLearning course in the world. If you don’t market it, it’s like it doesn’t exist. Learn how to promote your eLearning courses by targeting the right audience, in the right places and at the right time. Learn how to create a content that’s in demand and never forget that technology and knowledge evolve in the blink of an eye.