Nobody is perfect, and neither is elearning. With every implementation that I have been a part of, there have been some lessons learned.
I don’t see this as a bad thing, but rather just another reason why the elearning industry is so great. We can create elearning courses for year yet still strive to improve.
While there are a great deal of suggestions out there regarding elearning design, often the same mistakes come up again-and-again.
The good news is that all these mistakes are easily controllable. If you just make sure that you avoid the nine mistakes below, your courses will drastically improve.
9 ELearning Course Design Mistakes
1. Target audience not clearly defined. This is probably the most detrimental to any elearning program. Without properly identifying the audience on a program and course-by-course basis, the message cannot be optimized.
2. Too much text. Just because you put the text in bullet point format doesn’t mean that it can’t be text-heavy. If text starts to dominate the page, split up the content logically.
3. Navigation is confusing. Your users should have no trouble navigating from one lesson to the next, and back home again. Keep navigational structures to three levels at a maximum to avoid unnecessary confusion.
4. Examples aren’t realistic or relevant. We all know that getting realistic examples for the content being delivered is important to learning retention, yet it still is often ignored. Put in the extra effort to give realistic scenarios.
5. Ineffective (poor) narration. If your course has a live narrator, make sure that person utilizes all the proper voicing techniques. And by no means should you ever use one of those computer programs for narration – it is too distracting.
6. Information overload. Sometimes it is okay to just give the relevant information without providing the entire thought process behind the content. Additional information is great, but there is no sense in burying the key messages within irrelevant background info.
7. Poor selection of authoring tools. The tools you use for your program should be specific for the content being presented. Contrary to common belief, there is no “one-tool-fits-all”. There are plenty of tools out there, so make sure to research the pros and cons of each.
8. Too many grammar mistakes. With poor grammar, you risk instantly losing your audience. In most cases, grammar mistakes are just simple oversights. With proper review cycles in place, you should be able to avoid this altogether.
9. Assessments are too easy. What’s the point of having an assessment if you can guess the answers without reading the content? Mix things up a bit by using various question types (not just multiple choice).