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14 E-Learning Mistakes to Avoid

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14 E-Learning Mistakes to Avoid

If you are getting started with e-learning for the first time, you’ll achieve better results if you don’t repeat commonly made mistakes. If you have already created e-learning courses but are not getting the results you hoped for, you need to understand the problems so you can fix them.

To help in both these situations, here are 14 of the most common e-learning mistakes to avoid.

1. Not Understanding Your Learners

Even if the people completing your course are employees of your business, it is important you take time to understand them properly. This is even more challenging if the employees completing your course have a wide range of capabilities, skills, and motivation levels. 

2. Too Much Text

Text is probably the easiest form of content to add to an e-learning course. As a result, many e-learning courses have a lot of text, particularly when they are designed in-house.

The best e-learning courses offer variety when it comes to content. This doesn’t mean variety for the sake of variety, but instead using the right type of media for the information you are delivering.

For example, an infographic or animation could replace a block of text, or an interactive element or scenario could replace multiple text-based screens.

3. Not Enough Interactive Elements

Following on from the above point, you need to include interactive elements in your e-learning courses. This could be scenarios, gamification elements, quizzes, etc. Interactive elements get learners more involved with the training.

4. Superfluous Content

Superfluous content can limit the potential of your e-learning courses. This is because content that isn’t strictly required will clutter the course and distract learners. Superfluous content can also make e-learning courses longer than they need to be.

Therefore, if an element or piece of content doesn’t help achieve your goals for the e-learning course, you shouldn’t include it.

5. Inconsistent Design

Inconsistent design in your e-learning course creates a poor learning experience that will impact the results you achieve. In some situations, inconsistent design can also make the course harder to use.

Therefore, you need consistency in everything from styles to backgrounds to fonts to the capitalisation of words to the buttons you use for navigation.

6. Design and Navigation that is Not User-Friendly

Speaking of navigation, it should be as user-friendly and intuitive as possible. If it isn’t, learners will find the course difficult to use and get through. This results in a bad learning experience and can also be distracting, impacting retention rates and the overall results achieved.

7. Haphazard Flow

One of the main tasks you should complete when planning your e-learning course is the flow of information and how you present various concepts and ideas to learners. This should be structured and well-thought-through to ensure learners get the level of understanding you need.

Jumping from one thing to the next without any clear flow will detract from the learner experience.

8. Lack of Promotion

Creating an e-learning course without any pre-promotion is not advisable. Learners should be involved in the process from the start so they understand why you are creating the training and how they as individuals will benefit.

An even better approach is to establish and nurture a learning culture in your organisation where you encourage and facilitate training, professional development, and learning.

9. Not Demonstrating Value to Learners

It is worth expanding on the above point further as it is crucial that learners understand how the training course will benefit them. In other words, how it is of value to them personally and professionally.

How the training will benefit your organisation is important too, but by highlighting the benefits to learners, you will get better buy-in.

10. Badly Written Questions

Quizzes are a key component of most e-learning courses. Quizzes help learners understand their level of knowledge, and they can be used by you to assess the competency levels of learners as well as the effectiveness of the course.

If the quiz has badly written questions, however, it will be of little benefit to you or the learners completing the course.

11. Design that Isn’t Responsive

Responsive design is now the norm online, whether in relation to websites, web apps, or e-learning content. Therefore, it is no longer advisable to create e-learning content for a single type of device.

Learners can complete courses with a responsive design on any device they choose, so responsive is the way to go.

12. Lack of Repetition

In many situations, particularly when the topic of the e-learning course is new or complex, learners will not grasp an idea or information on the first pass. This means you need to include repetition strategies in your e-learning courses.

For example, you could explain a concept by text, then add a scenario that covers the concept again, followed by an image, and then a question or two on a quiz. By completing all these stages, the learner will have a much better understanding.

13. Lack of Structural and Design Flexibility

Most e-learning courses are out of date soon after they are completed and distributed. This is the nature of the fast-moving business environment that many companies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE operate.

If your e-learning courses lack structural and design flexibility, there will be little you can do when they go out of date. The better approach is to design your courses so they can be updated and redistributed quickly and easily as required.

14. Poor Overall Design

A design that is unprofessional will not be attractive or engaging to learners, so investing in the design of your e-learning courses is essential.

Establishing a Good Foundation

A list of things that can make your e-learning courses better and improve the results you achieve would be significantly longer than the above. It is important you start with a good foundation, however, and that includes avoiding the above e-learning mistakes.

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