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Beginning a new eLearning project is an exciting time. Project sponsors are anxious to see their ROI, management teams are ready to exceed expectations, and development teams are eager to bring their innovative ideas to life. However, rushing into the project without appropriate planning can cause catastrophic problems. Take the time to start projects on the right foot and avoid these five common mistakes:
An initial step in any eLearning project is to outline goals and project deadlines. Unfortunately, this first step frequently leads to the first major mistake: setting unrealistic goals and deadlines. Development and management teams are destined to fail if they are frantically trying to hit an impractical target.
Establish a clear line of communication among the investors, management team, and development team. Often times, team members are happy to compromise once they understand everyone’s perspectives. The project manager must mediate until the teams agree upon a realistic set of objectives and milestones. A project can proceed only after the goals and deadlines align with the project budget, meet the investors’ needs, and are attainable by the development team.
A second common mistake is overloading an eLearning project with too much information. Dumping loads of irrelevant content onto a learner causes confusion and frustration. Carefully analyze the learning objectives. Can some be removed? Could the projected be divided into two parts? Should information be organized differently? The project manager should focus on streamlining the content in a clear and precise manner. Create an experience for the learner that is accessible and easy to follow.
A lack of interactivity is possibly the biggest mistake in the development of an eLearning project. Most companies choose the quickest and easiest path of development, ignoring the need for a feature-rich project. They create projects comprised of on-screen text with a few basic graphics sprinkled here and there. Learners mindlessly click through the program absorbing little, if any, knowledge. The disengaging eLearning project provides mediocre performance results at best.
Instead, commit to develop an interactive course that pulls the learner into the content. Incorporate effective features such as quizzes, videos, games, and scenarios to captivate the learner’s interest. Not only will employees retain the knowledge, they will begin to look at eLearning as a beneficial activity instead of a dreaded requirement.
No one would expect a guy in his thirties to be interested in a phone app designed for toddlers. Yet, many corporations create training to “appeal to the masses” without any regard to the target audience. Projects that do not resonate with the audience end up being ineffective wastes of time and resources.
An eLearning project should be tailored to meet the user’s needs. In the early stages of a project, ask who the users and learners will be. Discover their demographics and comfort level with technology. You may conduct meetings with a few members of the target audience or distribute a short survey. Design an eLearning project that is compatible with the devices the audience uses and appeals to their interests.
A company is thrilled with their flawless eLearning project. It achieves the defined goals, contains the right amount of content, provides appropriate interactivity, and meets the user needs. But, there is still a problem. No one is using the training.
Companies must internally market their training programs. Spread excitement about new eLearning courses! A campaign could include rewarding the employees who complete the training, sharing positive testimonials from learners, or making a cardboard cutout of a character from the eLearning to stand in the hallway. Create awareness among employees in order to see successful results from the eLearning project.
Our thorough Needs Analysis and Design/Development processes ensure none of these mistakes creep into your eLearning projects. Contact Designing Digitally, Inc. to discuss your training needs!