Litmus Test In eLearning: 6 Questions To Ask Before Launch
Putting yourself in the place of your online learners can be one of the most challenging tasks. However, stepping inside their shoes and getting a fresh perspective of your eLearning course leads to a variety of benefits. The first step in this process is giving your eLearning experience the ultimate Litmus Test: would you enroll in your own eLearning course? Here are the 6 key questions that you should be asking before the next launch of your eLearning.
- Does this eLearning course offer any real world value?
Online learners need to know what is in it for them. Otherwise, they won’t be willing to actively participate in the eLearning experience. This is why it’s so essential that you offer them a meaningful eLearning experience, such as information and skills that they can use in their personal or professional lives. To do so, you must be ready and willing to include interactive elements that stress real world applications. Telling an online learner how to do something is only half the battle. They also need to put this information into practice and see, first hand, how it can benefit them in the real world. eLearning games, simulations, interactive presentations, and eLearning scenarios are activities that can present them with real world benefits. By exploring these challenges and making choices they have the chance to see the consequences and rewards of their actions, minus the risk.
- Are you overwhelming your online learners with stats and facts?
Nobody wants to sit through a long lasting eLearning course, packed with so many stats, facts, and text blocks that it makes their head spin. If you do have to convey facts, figures, and key ideas make sure that they are part of the eLearning course narrative. For example, you can transform them into an immersive and engaging story or add them to your interactive simulation. This helps your online learners to connect to the subject matter and more effectively retain the information, due to the fact that they aren’t being overwhelmed by an abundance of percentages, numbers, and theories. If possible, reach your online learners on an emotional level by tying the stats and facts to real world events or situations. This allows them to relevance the information and become aware of how they can use it outside of the virtual learning environment.
- Are there missing pieces to the puzzle?
Before you deploy your eLearning course you must ensure that every key idea, takeaway, or step is intact. Missing eLearning content can confuse and frustrate your online learners, which will diminish the overall value of your eLearning course. Meet with your Subject Matter Expert to make certain that there is nothing out of place or absent. Ask them to fill in any gaps that they feel are necessary and verify that all of the eLearning content aligns with the primary goals and objectives. Think of the eLearning course as an intricate puzzle that must complete in order to be truly effective. If even one piece is missing, your online learners may walk away from the eLearning experience with incorrect information or a total lack of comprehension.
- Is there a rhyme and reason for every piece of eLearning content?
Question the relevancy of every piece of information in your eLearning course. The simple truth is that there may be eLearning activities that you should omit in order to avoid cognitive overload. Review every aspect of your eLearning course and determine how every text block, image, graphic, and activity ties into the real world objectives. Unfortunately, you may discover that a video or presentation you worked hours to create does not serve the ultimate goal. In which case you must cut your losses and omit it from the eLearning course or make modifications. This is a better alternative than leaving it in and reducing the quality of the eLearning experience.
- Does the visual and graphic design make you want to click away?
eLearning content is king, but the visual and graphic design of your eLearning course is what makes the first impression. If you don’t grab their attention right from the start you run the risk of them clicking away sooner rather than later. Your visual design should be clean, easy to navigate, and eye-catching. It should also be in-line with your branding or eLearning course message. This includes the color scheme, logos, fonts, and audio elements. Keep text to a minimum and turn long paragraphs into bullet point lists.
- Is your eLearning course jumbled with jargon?
Ideally, you should include eLearning activities and self-paced study materials that allow online learners to discover the information on their own. However, this is not going to be possible if you pack your eLearning course with jargon, complicated terminology, and other vocabulary blunders that only confuse them. If possible, take a conversational tone that helps online learners relate to the subject matter. Research your audience background to determine the familiarity with key terms. For example, employees who are new to the field may not have the same vocabulary as someone who has been with the company for 15 years. If you do need to include industry-specific jargon, then pair it with a glossary of terms at the beginning of the eLearning course that employees can use as a reference.
Looking at your eLearning course from a new angle can be difficult, but it’s well worth the effort. So, give a Litmus Test in your eLearning courses and see if you would be willing to participate. If not, then you may want to rethink your eLearning strategy and figure out what, exactly, is preventing you from clicking that enroll button.
Ready to give your eLearning course one final edit before you launch? Read the article Launching Your eLearning Course: 15 Things To Double Check, which features the top things you may want to double check before you deploy your eLearning course.