With so many courses being created on a daily basis, it’s not surprising that some content will be better than others. Obviously, you want your course to stand out from the crowd.
Here’s how to avoid some common eLearning content mistakes:
1. Not Challenging Enough for Your Learners
There’s nothing worse than signing up for a class that aims at the lowest common denominator. Don’t spoon-feed your students the content, make them work for it. Content that’s too easy fails to engage the curiosity and spark the desire to learn. Throwing out challenges and hurdles will give your students the satisfaction of a job well-done and a lesson well-learned.
2. It’s Too Hard to Read
Sometimes the reading level is too hard. On the other hand, you don’t want to cross the line into PhD level materials for a beginner’s course. Make sure the content level matches the course’s title and objective. You want to aim high, yes, but you don’t want to aim so high that it’s too hard to read. If your content is too hard, too academically loaded and too dry, you’ll only accomplish a high drop-out rate.
3. No Gauge to See Where Learners Are At
Don’t assume all your learners understand everything you show them. You’ll want to test their knowledge at some point. It’s important to pause every once in a while and make sure everyone is on the same page. The best way to do that is administering a test or assessment activity of some kind. Test them early and often with eLearning Games, interactions, and quizzes. Your first assessment should come soon after the beginning of the course so you can gauge how your students are absorbing the material. If the average score is low, slow it down to make sure they’re able to keep up.
4. Lack of Engaging Medias
Don’t miss out on multimedia. If you are creating an eLearning course, take advantage of as many multimedia resources as you can like eLearning Stock videos and audio. When appropriate, give them audio clips, music files, animations, and videos. That way, you not only give your students a break from the written content, but you also stimulate students who are more adept at audio-visual learning.
5. Little to No Imagery
And don’t forget about eLearning Stock graphics and photos. Giving your students visuals is key. Well-selected pictures and graphics can help drive home the point you’re making in the text. Don’t neglect this side of the learning process. Likewise, choose appropriate, tasteful and well-designed photos and graphics. Poor graphics will make students think that the content is also poor.
6. Too Much of One Type of Media
But don’t forget about quality written content either. Don’t rely on multimedia resources as the basis of your content. Your course should contain a mix of quality written text and multimedia. Remember that your content should be well-researched, engaging and credible.
7. Statistical Data without Cited Sources
Don’t quote unverifiable statistics. Using statistics is a powerful way to back up your theories and ideas. But numbers lose all their power if you don’t cite them or if you cite sources that aren’t credible. Make sure that the statistics you use back you up instead of refute your credibility.
8. Grammatical and Punctuation Errors
Don’t forget to check your grammar. Nothing ruins a course’s credibility like grammar mistakes. Students are taking your course because you’re an expert. If they’re able to spot your grammar mistakes, it makes them distrust the rest of the content. Double check for common grammar mistakes. Remember to avoid mistakes like it’s vs. its, they’re vs. their, and you’re vs. your. Make sure spelling and punctuation are on point. Also, DON’T overuse BOLD LETTERS, CAPITALIZATION, italics or EXCLAMATION POINTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s the visual equivalent of yelling and does little to strengthen your point or make your students respect you.
9. Unneeded Tangents in eLearning Content
Because it’s so easy for anyone to create an eLearning course these days, sometimes the creators don’t take the course content very seriously. Some may use it as a platform to express their sense of humor, political or religious views. While humor has its time and place, I suggest keeping the content specific to your main message if possible. If the course title is Technical Writing in the Digital Age, don’t include content about medieval cooking habits. Sounds obvious but you would be surprised how much irrelevant content finds its way into eLearning courses.
Quality eLearning content combines well-researched written content with engaging visuals and multimedia. It finds the balance between challenging and oversimplified by keeping the material relevant and professional. Good luck on your eLearning content and happy creating!