6 E-Learning Course Mistakes to Avoid

Mitch Denton

At Archy Learning, our team has seen its fair share of online courses. With all of our accumulated experience and knowledge over the years, it’s safe to say we know exactly what works in the E-Learning world, and what the best techniques are that users respond to.

In this blog, we will cover 6 common E-Learning mistakes that you can avoid while building out your dream online course. Make sure you avoid these and implement the opposite, and you are on your way to becoming an E-Learning professional.

1) Too complex 
2) Not enough repetition
3) Content is too lengthy
4) Not knowing your target audience
5) Lack of engagement
6) Not asking for feedback

1. Too complex

If you are the creator of your own online course, you’re most likely an expert on the subject at hand. It’s easy to go on using industry jargon, and passionately speak on the content, assuming users will simply follow.

This isn’t always the case! Many of your learners might be new to the subject and will need introductory type language to ease them into the course content. In summary, keep it simple. Note what your audience’s real-life learning goals are, and keep your course content straight and to the point, allowing for further discussions in online groups and engagement forums after.

2. Not Enough Repetition

Though the human mind is capable of some pretty incredible things, these days our working memory needs a bit of repetition in order for facts to truly be stored in long-term memory. An important note to remember while creating E-Learning courses is that repetition is key. The key to this is repetition. Repetition is the key to a successful E-Learning experience (see what we did there).

This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to type everything out 3 times, but try emphasizing the most important facts or learning objectives through different formats of content. Whether it’s visual, auditory, or via text, the more times something is emphasized, the better. When you’re going through a large course module, include a summary at the end, highlighting the most important key points again. This will help solidify the learning objectives in the mind of the user, creating new brain pathways to retain the knowledge.

3. Content is too lengthy

The human attention span isn’t the best. In fact, studies have shown that it has actually decreased in the last decade, with the use of technology. Our brains are addicted to new information, and we truly struggle to focus on one task for an extended period of time.

As a course creator, you should keep this in mind while in the design and development phase of your course.

A general rule of thumb is that course content should generally be broken down into 10 minute bite-sized pieces. Include breaks in between, maybe with mini-games or fun quizzes to reinforce the learning as well. Have fun with the content, and don’t try to throw hours of content into one sitting.

Plan out your content strategy and the breaks in between beforehand. Make sure you go over all course content and then summarise at the end for your users, then reinforce the online learnings. This will create a memorable and effective learning e-learning experience.

4. Not knowing your target audience        

It’s easy to write content from your perspective, personal education, and experience. You can throw in all of your own terminology and case studies, and imagine everyone will follow along flawlessly, and be passionate about the subject in the same way you are.

This isn’t always the case.

When strategizing your e-learning course design, keep in mind that you are creating content for others, not for yourself. There are particular characteristics and elements about your audience that you must ask while creating and editing your content:

  1. Your audience’s education level
  2. Their job/current field of interest
  3. Current tech stack
  4. Where they will be studying/context (in an office with other employees, remotely on their own)
  5. Whether there needs to be any additional learning post or prior to this learning experience
  6. Knowing these factors will help you create an engaging, personalized e-learning course pathway for your users.

5. Lack of engagement                                                                             

This is a certain element of an online course that is usually overlooked, yet can be one of the most effective. That factor is engagement from your audience. We’re not talking about feedback (we’ll get to that), but more so engagement in the form of community or study groups, shared experiences, and gamification.

If you have read up on any of our blogs, you know we’re fans of gamification. We’ve even partnered with Gamify to add mini-games along the carefully crafted e-learning pathway via the e-learning platform. Adding in things such as badges, leaderboards, and celebrating each other’s success with the course is imperative to keep engagement consistent. Encouraging students to speak out if they’re stuck on a topic is imperative to your course’s success.

Keep this in mind while building your next course. Have a community-based strategy ready to go to launch alongside it.

6. Not asking for feedback

We shouldn’t have to lecture too much on this one, but the last but not least topic is, of course, asking for feedback. You should always be working on curating your content on the learning management system, and making it better for your audience. But if you don’t know what their experience is like, what is there to change?

Besides analyzing critical data points such as completion and drop-off rates, don’t be afraid to send a questionnaire and ask your students what their experience was like. We recommend that you also ask them what your course can do better. It is an opportunity for growth, so if there is any negative feedback, look at it as a positive challenge.

Summary

The team at Archy is passionate about e-learning, and we believe that your course (using our e-learning platform) can help many people level up, and increase their knowledge. Whatever the course subject may be, it is easy to make common mistakes that will heavily affect the completion and engagement rates of your learners. Applying the above recommendations will surely help you reach your user’s objectives and goals.

Do you have any additional mistakes that you think users can avoid? Feel free to drop a comment below! Also, if you would like to create your own e-learning course, start for free with Archy’s e-learning platform today.

Mitch Denton

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