How NOT to Design eLearning January 24, 2009Posted by B.J. Schone in eLearning.
Mark Simon wrote a great article in the January 2009 edition of T+D Magazine titled, "E-Learning NO How: 7 disastrous decisions sure to sink any e-learning implementation." The article begins like this…
You finally did it.
After researching and selecting all the e-learning development tools that you needed to author your first lesson, you’ve rolled up your sleeves and produced an excellent, captivating e-learning course. It really looks great, and, more importantly, it includes all of the fundamental learning methods that you discussed in your instructional design training. You know that learners will absorb the learning concepts you’ve given them, as they sail through the module.
What could possibly go wrong?
Mark goes on to list "seven of the most common reasons for e-learning failure" and then discusses ways to avoid making the mistakes. I’ve summarized the seven common reasons for eLearning failure here, and I’ve added a few tips for avoiding failure.
Reasons for eLearning failure:
- Fire and forget
After you’ve created an eLearning course, you can’t just send it out and assume everyone will take it. Follow up with email reminders, internal marketing, and communication from management.
- Don’t worry about assessments
Don’t assume the learner mastered the material. Assessments are necessary!
- Ignore the working environment
Consider providing links to job aids and other performance support tools for the learners. Remember, they will return to their work environment after the course.
- Forget about the LMS
Make sure your course works seamlessly with your LMS. Don’t just assume your part is done after you’ve built the course.
- Don’t worry about teaching the e-learning interface
Provide support materials to make sure your learners know how to navigate your eLearning interface.
- Make it difficult to access the course
Automatically enroll users in your course or make sure the course can be found easily in the LMS.
- Ignore workstation configurations
Do some research with help from your IT department. Your users may not have the right browser, plugins, etc. Figure out how to handle upgrades and prepare documentation for learners if they need to make changes to their systems.
A common theme that I saw on Mark’s list is: Don’t assume anything. Do your research, know your audience well, and be as prepared as possible. Read Mark’s full article here.