Invariably most employees take an eLearning course because it is made mandatory by their superiors or it is a job requisite. Therefore, it is important that employees are kept adequately motivated while doing the course. They surely will remain motivated to complete the course if the content is purposeful and relevant to their job situation. Here are 5 things that you don’t want your employees to experience while taking eLearning courses.
Struggling to navigate through the course
The objective of the course should be that the learner gains mastery over the course content and not over the piece of software that is used to design the course. Therefore, the steps used to navigate through the course need to be intuitive and unobtrusive where employees spend minimum effort and time while going through the course. The effort that an employee invests should be to understand the content rather than to figure out how to go to the next module or how to revisit a module that has already been studied.
Confused about the learning outcome of the course
You don’t want your employees to keep wondering why in the first place they have to take the course. They need to have a fairly good idea about what they will learn from the course. Sharing the learning objectives and performance goals of the course right at the beginning will help employees to understand the objective and relevance of the course vis-à-vis their job role. This will not only motivate them to take the course seriously but also enable them to focus and be more engaged with the course content.
Skipping modules without actually understanding the content
The course should be designed in such a way that it is not possible for employees to move to the next module without understanding the earlier one. This can be done through formative assessments that enable employees to evaluate their understanding of the subject matter and to gently guide them to revisit portions that they have not assimilated well enough.
Feeling spoon-fed with no credit to their intelligence and experience
While you don’t want your employees to jump through the modules, you can’t ignore the fact that employees come with their own set of experience and knowledge. Content needs to be matched with the intellectual abilities of employees so that employees feel that they have gained valuable inputs at the end of the course. In instances where the fundamentals are dealt with in basic modules, employees can be given the option to skip them in case they feel they already know the basics. You could have an assessment to check their knowledge and on successful completion of the assessment provide an option to skip to the next level in the course.
Getting distracted by unwanted design elements
Technology and the latest software tools provide innumerable options to play around with graphics, videos and other design elements. However, it should be kept in mind that their relevance needs to be confined to engaging and providing a better learning experience to employees. Design and course interface should be minimalistic without overshadowing the content. It also pays to separate the ‘need-to-know’ and ‘nice-to-know’ content where the ‘nice-to-know’ content is presented in the form of job aids or resources.
A learner-centric approach to eLearning design keeps the learner at the center of the course and weaves around the learning objects and elements around it. The objective of the course needs to be knowledge transfer with minimal effort and time, ensuring that there is no cognitive overload on employees. If you have to list 5 factors to ensure the success of an eLearning course, what would they be? Do share your thoughts.