With eLearning awareness on the rise, the world is (fortunately) getting to experience better and better eLearning courses. With new and improved technologies replacing the old ones, eLearning is going to surpass our wildest imaginations in the future. However, let’s talk about the present first. Due to increasingly better eLearning courses being available to everyone, the pressure is on every instructional designer or eLearning course creator to create amazing, flawless eLearning experiences. But doing so doesn’t only require knowing what to do, it also requires knowing what not to do. In this article, we’ll discuss 5 fatal mistakes one should avoid when creating eLearning courses, if you want your courses to be flawless, desirable and relevant.
- Too Much Forced Learning
Forced learning is for learners that require step-by-step guidance. It is a good strategy when your target audience is made up of beginners, and it is important that they do not skip ahead, missing important information while doing so. But, if you put forced learning in all your courses, even those made for advanced learners, it could cause disinterest and even frustration. Forcing all your learners to sit through the basics is a fatal mistake as it causes boredom, and as I’ve always said, boredom is the death of learning.
- Too Much Text
This should be an obvious mistake to avoid. eLearning derives its power of engagement and retention from visuals and interactivities, and is better than simple books precisely because it is much more than page after page of text. However, some organizations copy and paste learning content they used in traditional classroom training into their eLearning courses. To top it all, they don’t even chunk that content effectively to suit it to eLearning. This fails to engage the audience and is considered poor eLearning design. It is a fatal mistake to be avoided at all costs.
- Too Much Audio
The auditory faculty is one through which a lot of learning happens for people. Come to think of it, people learn to communicate by hearing people talk. However, when it comes to eLearning, using audio too much is a mistake which is easily committed. The worst part is when designers use both on-screen text and audio in the same screen, forcing the users to read and hear the same words in the course. It is likely that most users will have a faster or slower reading speed than the speed of narration. Always give your learners the option to turn narration off, and know which part of the content should be narrated, and which part should just be on-screen text.
- Too Much Detail
Although it is arguable whether there can be something such as “too much detail” in a course, spoon-feeding every single detail to the learner is a bad idea. For example, if your course narrates and shows everything without offering the learner a chance to actually use their brains, how much retention do you think will actually happen? Give your learners to hack their brains, to become interested, to become confused, to actually pay attention and engage with your content. It is understandable that this is a thin line to walk on, but creating effective eLearning has always been, and remains, a challenge.
- Too Much Visuals
eLearning is all about striking a fine balance between all the elements that make it an amazing learning methodology. While visuals certainly play a huge role in engaging learners, there can always be too much of a good thing. Too much visuals or graphics can easily confuse learners, particularly if you sacrifice functionality to make room for them. Less advanced learners might feel stupid if they’re not able to understand what they are supposed to do amidst a fanfare of graphics, which defeats the purpose of an eLearning course. As a simple rule to know when you’re overdoing it, always consider if you’re course can do without it. If it can, you probably don’t need it.
Finally, always make sure that each course you build always adds value to the person taking it, and is not just a chimaera of text, images, videos and interactivities that adds no knowledge to a learner’s brain, and kills a few brain cells instead.
CBLPro is an eLearning solutions provider that specializes in creating amazing custom eLearning courses tailored around its client’s needs with the most avant-garde eLearning tech available. If you require our services, log on to www.cblpro.com.