Most people have taken an online course at some point in time. Whether it is for academic purposes or for workplace compliance, elearning very much has a presence in our lives.
Which got me thinking: what do you look for in elearning?
To be more specific, what makes an elearning course that you take good?
As you would probably expect, the answer to this question is likely to have a variety of answers. I find that I prefer courses that contain the following characteristics:
Don’t look like rehashed Microsoft PowerPoint slides. There really is nothing worse, is there? Chances are you too have taken an online course that was created with a generic PowerPoint template and bullet points. This is painful.
Doesn’t require that I stay on each section for a specific amount of time. I don’t mind having time requirements at certain points, especially if the information is critical. However, this becomes quite annoying (and counter-productive) if each section prevents you from moving on. Too much of this hinders the self-paced learning experience which is one of elearning’s major benefits.
Uses relevant graphics and contemporary images. Too much text can get tiring. The use of charts and images to convey information is much appreciated. I also enjoy when a course uses contemporary styling for the graphics as well. Seeing a course with Clipart from 1998 is distracting more than anything.
Is no more than an hour and a half in duration. I have a pretty good attention span, but I’m not superman. If I’m at my computer for more than an hour and half taking a course, you can fully expect that I will open other browser sessions and check my email 🙂 .
What about you – what characteristics do you prefer in courses that you take?