Anyone who sets out to create an elearning course does so with the best intentions.
They want the course to be both fun and effective.
But this does not always happen.
I am sure that at some point you have had a poor elearning experience.
Sometimes it is because the course lacks interactions, and sometimes it is because there are too many “bells and whistles” in place.
The point is that it is easy to go wrong when creating a course.
The good news is that there are some things you can do to help ensure that your course does not experience the same issues.
Here are some common “traps” to avoid at all costs, starting with…
Too Much Text – Using paragraphs of text is a bad idea. When possible break up large chunks of text with bullet points, images, icons, and charts.
Inconsistent Visuals – This one is probably the biggest mistake I see on a regular basis. Do yourself a favor and develop a style-guide so that your course has one cohesive look & feel.
Pointless Animation – Just because you can make something ‘move’ on screen does not mean that it should be moving. It can be distracting.
Terrible Quiz Questions – Quiz questions are an important part of testing whether someone has learned the content. If they are too easy (or just poorly written) then they are wasting everyone’s time.
Random Gamification – The use of points and badges to encourage learners through course content has shown to be effective, but only when implemented properly. Random badges and awards appearing on screen without proper context as to their relevance falls into the realm of distraction.
Videos are Too Long – Using videos in elearning is a great way to vary the delivery method of course content, but when they are too long they start to lose effectiveness. Keep them short and to the point.
Courses are Too Long – Rarely have I found someone who enjoys taking an online courses for more than an hour. If you have more than an hour of content in your course, split it up into “Part 1” and “Part 2”.