Don't: Forget It's All About the Students… Not the Instructor!
Sometimes eLearning designers develop their courses forgetting the most important element: the students. Successful instructional planning requires understanding the learning characteristics and needs of the students. You definitely don't want learners coming across content and features they may never ever use.
The only way to actually know what you should present is to know your target audience. According to their characteristics, you can define the most appropriate strategies and resources.
Don't: Mix Different Graphic Styles
Using different colors, styles, sizes, fonts, and layouts in your courses stops students from identifying with your company. Therefore, you should carefully employ the company's brand guidelines to ensure consistency. But even more than branding, ensure other elements such as images and backgorunds follow a same pattern. Everything needs to be in harmony.
Don't: Evaluate Only At the End of the Course
In eLearning, it's a common practice to include a test or evaluation only at the end of the course. However, that is not the ideal assessing method. Instead, an evaluation at the end of every module can really help learners think and reflect, reinforcing constantly what they've just learned. Besides, it's also great becasuse it keeps learners alert and interested.
Don't: Lock Navigation
Locking the navigation and having learners go through every screen doesn't mean they are learning everything… on the contrary, it frequently causes learners to simply glance at content and only focus just on the progress of the course. Freeing up the navigation not only wake's up students interest, but also lets them learn in their own way.
Don't: Take Traditional Curriculum and Simply Move it Online
One of the most common mistakes eLearning developers make is to take a traditional face-face training sessions and transfer them online, and calling it "eLearning". If you want to convert traditional training into eLearning courses you must transform and adapt the content, not just change it's format. Besides, eLearning courses need to be more than just online reading With some instructional and basic design techniques, a simple presentation can become into something more than just slides with text.
Don't: Overdose Your Learners With Interaction
Interaction has always been seen as the key component of an eLearning course to get learners involved. However, putting together excessive amount of graphics and media everywhere can be a distraction. Bells and whistles only distract the learner and divert attention away from important content. And if the content is boring, no amount of bells or whistles will make it any better..
Don’t: Try to Cram In Everything
Before anything else, make sure you aren't going overboard with the amount of content included in the course. If it looks crammed, probably it will make learners leave. Uou need to remember that an eLearning course isn't supposed to be an eBook and the user's mind needs time, space, and the opportunity to integrate the most essential understandings..
Follow these basic rules and you're guaranteed to see positive results from your eLearning courses!