August 20, 2014


In previous posts, I have listed the salient features that are found within effective e-Learning designs.  I have, also, emphasized learner-control and increased retention as two important goals of properly designed e-Learning.

Today, however, I’m going to reverse that story.  I’m going to list the more important elements you should avoid when buying or producing e-Learning.  The following items are some of the “no-no’s” — if you are committed to improved on-the-job performance and retention.  And unfortunately, far too many (if not most) of today’s current e-Learning offerings contain one, or several, of these to-be-avoided properties.

1)    Page-turning programs are the ultimate killer.  If people want to learn by reading, a book is a far better way to go.  Page-turning e-Learning courses are boring — which is why more than 60% of learners never complete such programs.  Plus, 40% of our nation’s workforce does not comprehend anything written above a 4th grade reading level.  Repurposed written procedures and adapted PowerPoint presentations lead the list of ineffectual e-Learning.

2)    A linear instructional design will also lead your learners into boredom and their resultant “waste of time” conclusions.  Effective e-Learning includes instructional branching as well as robust navigational controls for the user.

3)    Partial, paraphrased, or no audio will eliminate close to half of the learners assigned to an e-Learning course.  As we’ve seen “Optional Word-for-Word Audio” is the only way to include everyone, be they the fluent or the less-fluent readers.

4)    An unfriendly user interface will turn off your learners — another big reason why more than 60% of students fail to finish such a poorly designed course.  Rather, you should require a knowledgeably designed “home screen” that will allow the learner to access any feature with a single click.

There you have it!  It is just as important to recognize what constitutes the e-Learning courses you should neither build nor buy as it is to know the characteristics of e-Learning courses that actually make solid contributions to learning and retention.

You are being tasked by your organization to improve corporate performance.  Training can be a big contributor.  But — only if you bring the solutions that will positively impact productivity.  E-Learning can be one of your answers but, it can also be counterproductive if you can’t recognize the examples to avoid.

More on Monday – – – – –


— Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

www.itclearning.com/blog/  (Mondays & Wednesdays)