SHIFT's eLearning Blog

Is your eLearning Course Scaring Learners Away?

Posted by Karla Gutierrez on Wed, Oct 31, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

One of the biggest challenges we face as designers, managers or trainers is how can we keep our learners motivated enough to not only complete the courses but actually to enjoy it and retain the information.

Are you scaring learners away? Here is a quick and easy guide to evaluating your eLearning courses:

elearning trick or treatIs your eLearning course like a corn maze? 

eLearning courses are supposed to be easy to navigate – yet far too many are confusing and tedious. If it’s not clear and intuitive within the first slides – students are lost. Instead of trying to find their way out of the maze – when it comes to your course – they’ll just go away…and never return. A good eLearning course starts with navigation. Create a course that has a friendly direction, that includes the intuitive navigation people look for, and it should be immediately clear to the learner what topics and content items are featured within a course. How you decide to instruct the user on the course’s navigation can vary, there are different approaches...but your main concern should be that the navigation process is intuitive and doesn’t interfere with the learning process.  You want people to learn, and hopefully enjoy the course and not remember of how frustrating it was to navigate it. 

Are your courses giving the impression you’re a house of horrors? 

Engagement is key. If learners see screens with poor quality, overloaded with too much information, too passive, not involving or challenging – they are likely to think your eLearning course is a house of horrors – and are very unlikely to complete the course. You must employ tricks like animation, emotional stimuli, and storytelling, to maintain learner attention. Go steps ahead using game technology, simulations or even digital avatars representing the learner.  Replace text overload through diagrams, infographics, powerful images that communicate, and videos for example. But above all,  letting people know the course was designed around situations and needs of people like them is key to ensuring you don’t scare learners away with your courses.

Does your eLearning strategy have cob webs?

Planning is the starting point and the main aspect in the process to create effective eLearning courses. The managed and organized course content has a complete schedule, clear learning objectives, examples and instructional content.  If you are just pushing information to your audience with no structure, engagement or incentive, and if you think they are going to use it, you’d better think twice. Be sure you have a firm and solid content update strategy as well. If you haven’t reviewed and refreshed your courses lately, it’s likely they are no longer effective. Believe it or not, in a world of continuous change, it’s essential to update the eLearning content before it falls out of favor with your employees.  If it’s outdated… it’s no longer effective, and you could be losing learner´s attention. Dust off the cob webs constantly, to ensure your courses are still working. 

These are just a few ways to verify you’re not spooking employees away from wanting to take your eLearning courses. Today's lesson: avoid appearing like a house of horrors!


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Topics: eLearning, eLearning tips

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