One of the great things about elearning is that it can be delivered consistently to anyone who takes the course. That is, the presentation of the material is always the same, so you know that the main points are being delivered in a predictable fashion.
However, what is unpredictable is the audience.
Each learner who takes your online course comes with a different background, agenda, and attitude towards the material. They may be multitaskers who find elearning to be a waste of time, or they may be devoted to understanding the course content.
In other words, you can control the content and design it for the “ideal” participant, but you cannot always create a course that speaks to everyone.
That said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try! The infographic below (created by Shift ELearning) gives an example of 10 different learners that are likely to encounter your training course.
While the information acts as a friendly reminder as to the possible perceptions of your training, I think the main takeaway from this graphic is that a person could actually be one (or a mix) of these descriptions on any given day.
The content of the course will often go a long way to determining how to frame it. If possible, try to keep these 10 different learner types in mind as you create your content. For example, remembering that some people are dependent learners may drive you to create a robust “frequently asked questions” page, and to provide plenty of avenues for follow-up questions.