The 9 Biggest Online Course Material Mistakes to Avoid

by Sarah Johnson

Posted on 2017-07-05 16:52:58




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Organizations have the best intentions in mind as they are designing an course development process can result in disengaged learners and poor retention of information. Below are 9 of the biggest eLearning course mistakes to avoid and some strategies to help you develop winning eLearning courses.

1) Your online course material is dull and uninteresting.

Failure to grab the attention of your audience – especially at the beginning of an eLearning course – can be the start of a slow death for your eLearning system.

Solution: Engage your audience from the moment they login to learn! Grabbing the attention of your learners is the key to preventing your eLearning course from losing effectiveness right after it is born. Consider kicking your course off with a captivating video or a quick poll to engage learners right from the start.

2) You fail to outline learning goals and target completion date.

An eLearning course without goals or a target completion date is like a plane flight without a destination or anticipated arrival time. A lack of direction with an online training course can result in disinterest and a lack of involvement among learners.

Solution: Inform learners of goals and anticipated completion time at the start of your course. Your audience will appreciate knowing what to expect as the learning process begins. And while it is important to outline a target date of completion, you should also remind your audience that one of the benefits of your online course is the ability for people to learn at their own pace.

3) Your eLearning course appears in the dictionary under, “Wall of text syndrome”.

As you create content for your course, make sure that you do not fall into the trap of preparing page after page of run-on sentences. Courses with too much text can result in learning fatigue and poor retention.

Solution: Incorporate microlearning strategies into your eLearning courses. Learners tend to retain information better if they can learn the material in smaller pieces at a time.

4) You prepare your eLearning course without getting to know your target audience.

Regardless of how stellar your eLearning content may be, your efforts will be in vain if you do not spend some time getting to know your target audience. For instance, if you are dealing with older unskilled laborers, you may lose their attention if you consistently use too much legal jargon or references to social media.

Solution: Schedule time to learn about your audience before preparing course materials. Find out whether your audience consists primarily of millennials, skilled workers, seasoned white collar executives or a combination of individuals. This will allow you to optimize learner engagement and the effectiveness of your eLearning course.

5) You forget to secure headsets and other essential equipment in advance.

Your audience cannot enjoy the advantage of audio or video components of your online course if you do not remember to bring enough headsets and any other special accessories that your learners will need.

Solution: Make a list of any special equipment required and order extras. This step should be completed as soon as you finalize your course. Always remember to bring spare equipment in case new learners express interest in participating in your courses.

6) Your eLearning courses ignore the importance of applying the course material.

Regardless of how effective your eLearning content might be, your training efforts may be in vain if you do not emphasize the importance of applying the learned material in a real-life setting.

Solution: Create real-life scenarios to apply learned material. The inclusion of real-life scenarios generates interest and excitement among learners. In addition to stimulating engagement among learners, real-life scenarios help learners increase their level of comfort with the training material.

7) You finalize your online course without reviewing the content for mistakes or poor flow.

This error is akin to submitting a dissertation without checking for spelling errors. Do not let your eLearning courses be less impactful because you failed to proofread your materials.

Solution: Review your materials and then enlist the help of two colleagues to review them again. No eLearning program ever failed because too many people reviewed the material before finalizing it. On the contrary, peer reviews can help you catch critical mistakes and improve the flow of your course design.

8) Your eLearning course does not include tests or assessments.

It’s hard to gauge the effectiveness of your online learning program if you do not include a means of measuring the program’s impact.

Solution: Include at least one exam in your course. Even better, include a short quiz after the completion of each key training module. Periodic quizzes will help keep learners involved and on their toes.

9) You fail to solicit feedback from learners at the end of the course.

How can you improve upon your eLearning course if you do not identify opportunities for improvement? Failure to solicit feedback from learners could result in continued use of ineffective eLearning courses.

Solution: Ask learners to complete a short survey about the course that prompts them to identify what elements of the course helped them understand the material best, and which elements were least effective to their comprehension. This feedback will help you turn your good eLearning course into a spectacular one.

Perfecting Your eLearning Course

The best way to avoid critical mistakes in the design of an eLearning course is to seek the guidance of training optimization professionals. The eLearning specialists at Knowledge Anywhere provide the highest level of expertise in the eLearning arena and are committed to helping your company succeed through innovative online training programs. Please contact us to learn how your organization can benefit from our eLearning solutions. We look forward to hearing from you!

 

By Sarah Johnson




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