5 Surprising Reasons Why Online Learners Click Away From Your eLearning Course

Why Online Learners Click Away
Summary: Convincing adult learners to sign up for an eLearning course is the easy part. Especially if you know how to highlight the practical perks. But many drop out soon after. How do you get them to stick with it, and maybe even enjoy it?

Why Online Learners Click Away From Your eLearning Course And How To Avoid It

Adult learning falls into various categories. It’s basically defined as education for people above college age. They could be empty nesters, post-grad candidates, or corporates pursuing progression. It could be an adult who never made it to college in the first place, or even to high school. eLearning seems like the perfect solution for them. It doesn’t disrupt their daily routines and they can go at their own pace. So why is the drop-off rate so high? Let’s explore 5 common triggers that make online learners click away from your eLearning course, along with tips to avoid it.

1. Over-Simplified Tech

When kids are little, many of us communicate using baby talk. We’re coming down to their level because we think it’s all they can understand. This (in)conveniently ignores the facts, i.e. that their baby talk is their attempt to mimic us. They’re trying to reproduce our intonations and vocabulary, which does their developing minds a great disservice. Similarly, adult learners are sometimes patronized with ‘dumbed down’ tech. You want to reach a demographic that may be digitally illiterate.

But if it’s too simple to challenge them, they’ll lose interest. You don’t want your online learners feeling belittled. If you make them feel inadequate, they won’t stay the eLearning course, pun intended. Include multimedia and interactive online resources to prevent online learners from clicking away. Those who aren’t as tech-savvy can always use support online resources to bring themselves up-to-speed (see item #2 on this list).

2. No Support Systems

At the same time, it’s a valid concern that online learners with limited educational backgrounds or tech know-how may have a hard time navigating the eLearning course. Make it easy to use without necessarily ‘talking down’ to them. One option is to let the online learners themselves decide what options they want. For example, you might think older learners need a bigger font. Some of them do, but others will find your ‘age-ism’ insulting. So instead of making enlarged font the default, give them an easy toggle tool. They can use it to select a font that fits, both in size and style. This little bit of autonomy makes all the difference in acknowledging their agency.

You should also have easy access to support tools. This includes a chatbot for technical issues. Tech bots work better than ‘young hip-sounding’ customer care agents. Their youth and pep may push older online learners to click away, feeling embarrassed to display ignorance. A tech bot is more fun to interact with, and it doesn’t judge or hurt your online learners’ pride. Support also includes reference material, glossaries, indices, and online resources for troubleshooting.

3. Poor eLearning Course Design

We judge books (and movies) by their covers or their posters. And we judge eLearning courses by their visuals. How the eLearning course is designed influences how online learners use it. It needs to be pretty to look at, so they can enjoy using it for stretches of time. It also needs to be naturally navigable. Don’t make your online learners work too hard to find what they need in the eLearning course. If they can’t spot the page-turner or figure out what unit to study next, the possibility that online learners click away becomes bigger.

Why? Because nobody likes to feel oblivious or confused. Design your eLearning course in a way that’s easy to follow and offer simple tours. Ideally, the tour should be an interactive video demo. Place an icon at the corner of the screen. Online learners can click on it to refresh the demo as needed. Go one better and make specific demos for specific tasks e.g. ‘How to start a new chapter.’ Or ‘Where to look up jargon.’ It could even be as basic as, ‘How to change my learner dashboard background color.’ It’s the little things.

4. Inadequate Time Management

One of the biggest selling points of eLearning courses is flexibility. Busy adult learners (and their employers) love picking their own hours without interfering with their workday. However, with so much freedom, online learners sometimes take the eLearning course for granted. They know they can study anywhere anytime, so they may end up not studying at all. You can help them along by indicating lesson duration. At the start of every unit, chapter, or module, show how many minutes they’ll need to complete the session. This will help them plan better. Creating an eLearning calendar is another great way to help them manage time more efficiently. For instance, assign deadlines for specific tasks or encourage them to set their own completion milestones to add to the agenda.

5. Can’t Connect The Dots Between Real-World Uses And eLearning Content

Online learners must be able to see how the eLearning course will help them in the real world. As well as how they use all those ideas and concepts to overcome daily challenges. Otherwise, don't be surprised if online learners click away, because they simply don’t know how the eLearning course will offer them any value. Go beyond merely stating the real-world benefits and encourage online learners to apply their newfound knowledge and skills. For example, use branching scenarios and simulations to fuel mistake-driven learning and enable them to practice tasks.

Knowing why so many online learners click away from their eLearning courses can help you stop the (out)flow. Sometimes it’s the tech. Get appropriate devices and actively onboard your online learners. Offer them lots of self-driven support tools, like appendices, chatbots, and well-trained customer care. Design an eLearning course that’s fun and simple to use, and help your online learners manage their time better. They may require more assistance than you realize. Also, check your online instructors. They set the tone, and they can be contagious. If they have a dismissive ‘get it over with’ attitude towards the eLearning course, it will soon spread.

Are you having trouble getting online learners in the virtual door, despite the fact that your eLearning course offers a variety of practical benefits? Read the article 8 Essential Elements Of A Successful eLearning Content Marketing Campaign to discover top tips to launch a successful eLearning content marketing campaign.