You know something’s wrong with the eLearning courses that you are offering if:
- The reports are dripping in bad news.
- The results are screaming “drop-outs” and “low retention.”
- Your employees are not showing significant improvement in the performance that was expected of them. Their morale is down.
The negative stats are congealing like clots in your revenue stream.
It’s “Death by PowerPoint presentation” all over again.
You know you have your scapegoats: Tight deadlines, the shoestring budgets, highly technical content that needed to be communicated, and even the bad managers who had not properly bought into the eLearning strategy and were forcing the employees to take up the courses.
Buy you know that it was more than that. Your course failed to engage the audience. Hence, they have gained a bad reputation.
In this post, we'll go over the main reasons that have given your eLearning courses a bad reputation.
Reason # 1: You are using a scary amount of text
This happens often.
We put in too much text on a single screen. It’s a nightmare for employees who have to read emails, digital documents, and articles all day.
Imagine the stress a screen jammed full of text.
And if your learner lands in front of a screen ready to unload a lot of texts, they won’t be happy.
Think from their perspective, and from the perspective of human psychology.
We are not textual learners. We are visual learners. Our brain enjoys processing graphics and images more than text. Hence, text alone, and a lot of it at a time; is a sure fire way of making the audience ignore your message.
Make your courses more engaging by cutting back on the text and leveraging visuals for communicating the right ideas in the most engaging manner possible.
Reason #2: Your courses are not respecting employee’s time
Are your eLearning courses living off other people’s time?
Then they are not respecting the most valuable and irreplaceable thing they have in their life.
Often eLearning courses are based on the assumption that people have all the time in the world. It is the primary reason for low retention and high learner dropout.
If your course content is demanding large time investment in every single session, then it will only frustrate people — eventually disconnecting from the course itself.
This is why you must break down the courses into more manageable units spread out over time. Divide the course into multiple modules so that they can complete it in a convenient manner.
NO ONE, absolutely no one, wants to take a 1-2 hour eLearning course. Instead, they would love to work on a course where they can access a vetted library of content they can access and use whenever they need and want to.
Reason #3: Irrelevant or unhelpful content
Great or high quality content is not a substitute for relevancy.
Your course content should be relevant to what your target audience needs.
It’s just common sense: no one wants to feel like they’re wasting their time. Not you, not your boss, and definitely not the employees expected to learn from your course.
Given that training is often perceived as a waste of time, being irrelevant is one of the primary reasons why employees do not put in the effort.
Therefore, you must first understand your target audience and then build content around their needs, circumstances, limitations, preferences, and wants. This means that you must move beyond the common descriptions handed out by SMEs, the manager, or even the client.
Take cues from online marketing.
They offer the content for the right people at the right time. They avoid sharing the same type of content for everyone. Instead, they find ways to engage the audience by delivering the content they need at exactly when they need it.
Reason #4: Your courses are viewed as a punishment
People connect the dots and easily realize causal connections.
If employees can sense that they (or their colleagues) were offered a course in response to a recent mistake, lapse, or shortcoming in their work, their mind sends a negative trigger.
It may be a part of your organizational culture, an unwritten policy of sending underperformers back to training for skills they already have. It’s a form of disciplinary action in response to their performance.
In both instances, you are not empowering them, or treating them as people. They feel like resources that need to be managed because they have failed to deliver expected results. Employees expect to be valued. Disciplining them with training is traditional “school-like” treatment.
Any wonder they hate it?
If your employees fail to perform, then sending them to take an eLearning course is not the smartest action you can take. It is turning them against the very idea of training.
Make training more acceptable by showing it as an empowering activity. Instead of singling out the employees, form groups and discuss individual learning objectives and performance expectations. Additionally, you can form different course outlines for the employee, so they only take the modules that are needed to meet the required expectations.
To do: Perform an audit of your courses, the ones you have designed and the one you are creating right now. See if they fall victim to one or more of the following reasons mentioned above.