The 7 Deadly Sins of Starting an eLearning Initiative

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If you’re new to the whole eLearning design and development arena, there’s definitely going to be some apprehension involved. After all, if you’re the one who brought the solution to the table, it’s up to you to make sure it’s successful. In essence that translates to one key component: Not screwing up. And, while the task of implementing an entirely new eLearning program can definitely be daunting, you can anticipate potential roadblocks so they’re no big deal.

Common Mistakes of eLearning Initiatives

Consider these the seven deadly sins when it comes to building an eLearning course from the ground up:

  1. Creating a direct translation of a traditional course. Why even create an eLearning program if you just use tired, old material that doesn’t translate well?
  2. Lack of motivation. Believe us when we say that “personal development” isn’t enough of a reward. Achievements and recognition can help motivate learners.
  3. No user interactivity. An engaged learner is an invested learner. If you don’t invite them to interact with the program, it’ll be a dud.
  4. Generic content. A learner can smell an off-the-shelf module from a mile away. A level of customization is necessary to make the program worth it.
  5. Lack of media. You have the world’s largest collection of video, audio and images at your fingertips and don’t use it?
  6. Keeping it in the office. Learning in the office is awesome. Getting learners to engage on their own time? Even more awesome.
  7. One size fits all experience. Not all learners are created equally, so a module that forces everyone through the same experience can be frustrating.

Learning & Development Culture Shock

Another potential issue in getting an eLearning program off the ground is a workplace culture that isn’t ready for the shift to a new method of training. If you want employees on board, you’ll need to spend some time with the leaders and influencers of the organization. By ensuring their enthusiasm, it’ll trickle down and make for a smoother transition. Otherwise, you could end up with a L&D mutiny on your hands.

Warning Signs

Worried that your eLearning initiative might be crashing and burning before it even gets off the ground? Prep yourself to watch for the warning signs of a lackluster response so you can address concerns and attitudes before they affect the entire program. Some signs might include:

  • Disengaged learners
  • Unsupportive leadership
  • A lack of participation
  • Poor post-program performance
  • A lack of analytics

If you notice some of these warning signs, it might be time to call a meeting with leadership and head back to the drawing board for a new approach. Here’s the thing: eLearning can be a wildly successful way to train employees, but you need to find the right combination of components to really make it work. After some trial and error, you’ll notice a fundamental switch from not trying to screw up to actually succeeding in your efforts.

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