Top 10 eLearning Design Traps To Avoid

From eLearning Industry by Ruby Spencer, CTDP

Does your eLearning falter due to simple design failures? In this article I will share 10 eLearning design traps and all the ways to avoid them. Don’t be ensnared!

How To Avoid The Top eLearning Design Traps 

At PulseLearning, we’ve identified 10 common design and development traps that result in poor eLearning. Here are the eLearning design traps you need to avoid:

  1. Tell, tell, tell.
    Did you like it when your parents constantly told you what you could or couldn’t do? Well neither do your learners! Adult learners like to be in control and access content through exploration. I’ve seen too much eLearning that “pushes” information at learners rather than allowing them to “pull” it as required.
  2. Too much content, too little context.
    Without context, information is meaningless and easily forgotten. For engaged learners and increased ROI, attach content to real-life on the job scenarios to make it memorable.
  3. Next button virus.
    The next button virus seems highly contagious for most eLearning, but it’s your learners that it takes down. Symptoms include sleepiness, low-motivation, and lack of knowledge retention. Immunize your eLearning by adding interesting interactivity, breaking the linear pathway, and allowing learners to explore content.
  4. Audio and screen text duplication.
    If you really want to turn your learners off, provide audio for text screens so they hear what they’ve just read and can’t progress until it’s finished. It’s frustrating and redundant. There are much niftier ways to approach accessibility.
  5. Scrimping on Instructional Design. 
    The bear trap of all bad eLearning: No Instructional Design. Content simply published online is not eLearning and won’t yield positive results. Sound Instructional Design is the foundation of success for your eLearning. You wouldn’t build a house without plans, right?
  6. Unrelated media.
    When used correctly, multimedia elements pep up eLearning and get learners excited – however, make sure media used adds to the learning experience rather than distracts. Media that adds no value and fails to support content is a waste of valuable resources.
  7. UX inconsistency.
    User experience (UX) is super-duper important for ensuring your learners have a friendly experience navigating your eLearning. Changing the appearance and position of buttons throughout a product is not cool. Designers and developers need to put themselves in the shoes of their end-users.
  8. Forgetting the learner.
    Learners should be at the center of the experience and always at the forefront of the minds of designers and developers. Just because eLearning is a remote learning experience, we shouldn’t forget to connect with them. Successful eLearning products check-in with learners regularly and offer opportunities for self-reflection. Importantly, designers should never lose sight of different learning styles and cater to them appropriately.
  9. Content dumping.
    Like all good pop songs, your eLearning needs to… break it down! Content needs to be chunked correctly to suit the learning audience and avoid cognitive overload. Your Instructional Designer should be all over this.
  10. Overlooking maintenance.
    So, you might have some sexy eLearning, but how hot are your maintenance bills? Good design and development considers maintenance from the get-go to make it easy and affordable for clients.

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