In this blog, let us see some of the popular mistakes that every e-learning professionals must avoid.
Writing this blog can still bring goosebumps to me as these are some deadly common pitfalls or e-learning mistakes which an e-learning professional can fall into.
Let’s see some of them here in this blog.
1. Forget the learning objective
The main objective of every e-learning module is to achieve the learning objectives.
From the early stages of developing e-learning modules, one shouldn’t lose the sight of the learning goals and objectives. Losing the focus on the learning objectives can derail the purpose of learning.
For example, there are chances that the developers might focus more on bringing only engagement and interactivity with the modules.
I remember recently exploring an e-learning module using gamification where it had all the game elements and mechanics in a well-structured manner but the learning modules lacked the clarity of guiding the users to achieve the learning objective.
The module was seen heavily compromising on the learning objectives to include the elements of interactivity, engagement and game elements etc.
2.Failing to understand the target audience
This is a very serious and dangerous mistake which can make any e-learning modules ineffective.
Before even you start the process of developing e-learning modules , there should be a complete study of the target audience.
The study on target audience can help the developers to understand the knowledge level of the learners thereby helping the developers to customise and better the development process.
For example, if the learners already have a good understanding of the basics of the learning topics, it is then recommended to include topics of more advanced levels in the e-learning modules. This can save the time and cost of the developers and at the same time can make the learners less bored as the learner need not go through the same topics again and again.
3. Courses are too lengthy
A recent report from Microsoft mentions that the average human attention span is down to eight seconds from 12 when it was originally measured in 2000.
To tackle this decreasing attention span, there are new e-learning strategies like micro learning etc where learning content is delivered in small chunks of information to avoid overload of information to the learners.
I would say that effective e-learning modules shouldn’t stretch to more than 15 minutes at a stretch.
4.Lack of effective assessment tools
Elearning is not complete without including the proper assessments in the learning experience. Lack of assessments in the learning modules brings no objectives to the learning purpose as it becomes impossible to understand if the learners have gained the required knowledge.
Assessments like quizzes, solving challenges and winning the games etc are effective ways to determine if the learners are able to absorb the learning content from the e-learning modules.
To know more about the assessments and the various types you can read my blog here.
5. Don’t overload the learners with the text
How do you feel when you see a learning module which has its slides only filled with texts and texts alone. Overloading the learning modules with texts can bring down the learning experience.
The learners can dislike it, lose interest and further can result in the disengagement of the complete learning process. The learning module should have an adequate balance of multimedia content, texts etc to bring the engagement and interactivity.
6.Including a lot of multimedia graphics and animations
There is no doubt that multimedia graphics and animations can make the learning process engaging and interactive. Using the right images, graphics can enhance the visual appeal of the learning modules. But inserting a lot of multimedia graphics and animations can distract the learners attention as well as it can destroy a good learning experience.
I was exploring an info security gamification module. While I started exploring the game, I felt that the navigation wasn’t smooth
It was not easy to find the navigation buttons which were placed differently on the slides.
While the first few slides had the navigation buttons on the bottom screen, other slides placed the navigation buttons vertically on the right. As a user, it was not easy for me to find these buttons easily.
While developing the e-learning modules, the developer should check for the other hyperlinks or external links that are used in the learning modules. Ensure that its properly hyperlinked and has no trouble in opening up when clicked.
8.Poor quality of the content
While it is true that the visual appeal of the learning modules is very important, the developers shouldn’t constantly focus only on enhancing the visual appeals. The heart of every learning module is the quality of the content. An amazing visually appealing e-learning module can’t help the learners to achieve the learning objective. It requires to include quality learning content that makes the learner feel that they benefit from the learning experience.
The role of the SME and instructional designers are equally very important to ensure that you don’t make this mistake. Ensure that there is the various round of structured discussions to make the concepts clear and reach on a consensus about the learning content.
9. Lack of interactivity and engagement
Gone are those days where you can simply build an e-learning module with a simple click-next style of learning experience. The present-day modules demand interactivity and engagement elements. As a result, you see the various strategies in e-learning like using gamification, game-based learning etc and using other interactive options inside the module. Make sure that the developer includes the element of an appropriate level of interactivity and engagement.
Use videos, animations small games,real-life simulations etc to pump up the interactivity and engagement in the learning module.
10. An e-learning professional should update his knowledge
With the technology evolving at a rapid pace, it becomes important for the e-learning professional to be updated with his knowledge and skills. One can easily participate in the different webinars and visit popular e-learning forums to discuss the latest happening in the world of learning.
Subscribe to the newsletters of popular websites that discuss e-learning and also about the new technological innovations.
11. Failing to design for the future
With the increasing availability of smartphones and with more organisations promoting the BYOD policies etc. you can already see a visible shift in the learners to use mobile devices like smartphones, tablets, iPads etc for learning purposes.
Hence it is important to ensure that you make the e-learning modules following the responsive design approach, which can make the learning modules compatible with multiple devices.
12. Ignore the testing phase for e-learning modules
Developing an e-learning course and delivering the module to the client without testing is one of the biggest mistakes an e-learning professional can make. It should be a practice to ensure that every module passes the testing phase before delivering the final course content. Proper testing will help the developers to identify any possible errors which might have crept into the different stages of development. It also helps in ensuring the quality of the e-learning module.
It is recommended to ensure that the developers have a proper testing mechanism in place to effectively test the learning modules.
13. Not taking inputs or feedback from the learners
An e-learning professional should essentially consider the inputs or the feedback from the learners. Even when the e-learning modules are made with the highest standards there might be something which you might have missed out or there can be a valid suggestion and recommendation etc from the learners. This can be strong inputs and feedbacks for making the changes or valuable points for your next assignments.