Red Flags - 2013 Oct 30

Creating an e-Learning course requires a lot more planning and detail than many people realize. As an e-Learning developer, you’ve probably realized this a long time ago! A well-planned and executed e-Learning course will have a huge impact on employees’ job performances after the course is over. Since e-Learning is an advantageous way to deliver training, you want to make your course succeed—and not fail.

But how do you know if your course will fail? Watch out for these 5 red flags; they’re sure signs that your e-Learning course is destined for disaster.

  1. You can’t identify course objectives.

    This is the biggest red flag. Course objectives—or goals—are crucial to your e-Learning course’s success! To avoid this online training tragedy, identify clear course objectives in the initial planning stages of development. Write down your objectives, and keep them somewhere visible as you’re developing, so they can remind you to stay focused on the goal of your course.

  2. Your mini-game doesn’t have a purpose.

    Games are fun, but they’ll get old fast in your e-Learning course if they don’t have a clear purpose. Gamification is an awesome trend and technique if used correctly, so make sure any games in your course help teach or reinforce a topic.

  3. Your images or font are distracting.

    It’s tempting to try out snazzy fonts or to slap in a funny image for a laugh. But ask yourself if your images, font and any other visual elements in your course contribute to presenting valuable and helpful information for your learners. If you have any doubt about a picture, color or font choice, then that’s a red flag!

  4. You didn’t proofread or review your course.

    This goes beyond checking for grammatical errors, which are inevitable because no one is perfect. You should always review your entire course to make sure it flows correctly and is consistently relevant and informative. Once again, having your objectives visible is key! They’ll keep you and your course on track to success.

  5. You can’t see the big picture.

    If you identified your goals right from the start and kept checking in with them, this shouldn’t be a problem. However, you may have forgotten about your reminder note, or maybe your goals shifted during development. Take a look at the long-term impact of your course—the big picture. If you’re unsure how the content will help your learners on the job in the future, then that’s a problem!

Look for these 5 red flags as you’re developing your next e-Learning course. If one pops up, stop and re-evaluate your development strategy. Red flags can be fixed before they turn into e-Learning failures; you just have to know what to watch for, and you’ll be on your way to success!

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Christie Wroten graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a bachelor's degree in English and Writing. When she's not writing about e-Learning, Christie enjoys traveling or playing piano and guitar.