Developing a course for eLearners is hard. You have to start strong and end stronger, thereby compelling eLearners to come back for the next module or chapter. The problem is, many of you still wonder why people don’t finish your courses. Isn’t a good introduction and solid conclusion enough? While both are crucial, the devil is really in the detail. Typos and misspellings can put off readers. Other seemingly minor issues can actually pose serious consequences.
Carefully craft your courses before hitting publish to increase course completion rates. Here are 8 questions eLearning course developers should consider:
1. Are there any typos, misspellings and grammatical errors?
Proofread your copy. Just because your course can be modified anytime doesn’t mean you don’t have to sweat the small stuff. Educators are expected to master grammar and spelling. Errors can hurt your credibility and you can lose learners as a result.
2. Is all of the content there?
Make sure you don’t miss anything important. Never mind the pressure to publish quickly. Accuracy trumps speed, just as quality trumps quantity. Don’t scan, read. Better yet, re-read everything from start to finish to check if the flow is right and if the content supports the whole course.
3. Is the navigation clean & clear?
These questions address usability, which is something central to eLearning courses. Because eLearning is interactive, thinking in terms of usability or how users interact with your material is very important. Don’t make them complain about your navigation buttons and other clickable elements for viewing videos or slide shows.
4. What's in it for learners? Is it appropiate for them?
Your content has to be relevant or useful. It has to answer or solve your learner’s question or pain points. More importantly, the course’s level of challenge must match the learner’s level of skill. If it’s too easy or too difficult, learners likely won’t finish the course.
5. Are there any technical issues to watch out for?
Check for functionality and software compatibility. Some computers may not render the correct version of your eLearning software. If yours is web-based, you may have to require learners to download files on their computer. Make sure their system allows such downloads. Check if they can play videos, open links and view audio scripts correctly. Ask for feedback and address these technical issues immediately.
6. Does the content align with your learning objectives?
Take another good look at your content. Make sure you have delivered what was promised to learners from the beginning. Don’t break their trust. Earn it by meeting and exceeding their expectations.
7. Is everything consistent?
Obsessively focus on consistency. It’s key to reinforcing your eLearning objectives. Check if the look and feel of each page is consistent with your message. Consistency leads to familiarity, which is good since it lets learners know what to expect from each module. It makes learning much easier.
8. Is your content “sticky” enough to engage learners?
It’s a fact that people respond better to visual and well-organized. Make use of well-researched infographics and immersive videos. Avoid long paragraphs by breaking your text through sub-headings, lists, quotes and images. These will encourage learners to actively participate and ensure maximum levels of engagement.
As a final tip, have someone look at your content for an unbiased feedback. Get a colleague, friend or family member proofread or read your content with fresh eyes. Otherwise, check your course after 24 hours for a final read-through. You’re much more likely to spot any errors this time.