Engaging your learners is vital for e-learning content in your learning management system, but make sure they focus on what you want them to learn and are not distracted by badly designed material. Here are nine mistakes to avoid:
1. Bad design – Low resolution graphics or amateur layouts shout out ‘poor value’, so learners will value the training less. Start with good design and high quality images and videos.
2. Errors – Spelling mistakes and poor grammar and punctuation stand out. Why should a learner take notice of anyone who can’t even write a sentence?
3. Inconsistency – Don’t talk about something using one name in one chapter, then call it something different in the next. Be consistent in the use of terms, products and brands so learners are clear about what you’re discussing.
4. No asset management – You can spend a lot of time creating visuals and videos so make sure you name and store then where you can find them easily. Keep original files in the native format of the application which created them so that you can edit them easily to reflect changes instead of having to recreate them from scratch.
5. Boring content – Tedious material sends learners to sleep whether it’s text or video. Split learning up into manageable chapters or bitesize chunks so that learners can progress quickly rather than struggling to complete huge courses.
6. Patronising – Not all learners will have to learn everything. Don’t force instructions on every small point, but give them the option to skip material if they are at a more advanced level. Flexible navigation, giving them the option to return to or work through a module again gives them more control over their learning.
7. Meaningless actions – Don’t include interaction for the sake of it. Learners will get fed up with clicking ‘next’ several times a minute. Link interaction to learning a specific point and make sure all animations or videos express a valid point rather than just looking good.
8. No purpose – Don’t let learners start any training unless they know how it will help them. If a course title is vague and it’s not made clear what the aim is at the start, learners will be confused.
9. No assessment – Learners who complete chapter after chapter without assessment won’t know if they’ve understood everything properly and could worry about a big final test. Give them the opportunity to test knowledge during every chapter with short, simple exercises or questions. Assessments also enable managers to monitor employees’ progress so they can provide any additional help or mentoring required.
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