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

Now, let’s look at the other side —- the e-Learning design elements you should avoid when buying or producing e-Learning. 

The following items are some of the “no-no’s” to avoid when committed to improved on-the-job performance and retention.  Unfortunately, far too many (if not most) of today’s current e-Learning offerings contain one, or several, of these to-be-avoided properties.

  • 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.  Re-purposed written procedures and adapted PowerPoint presentations lead the list of ineffectual e-Learning.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

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 fail to recognize the many examples to avoid.

I’ll be on holiday for the remainder of this week.  More next Monday.

  — Bill Walton, co-Founder, ITC Learning

         October 16, 2017

   (Mondays & Wednesdays)



(This is a personal blog.  Any views or opinions represented in this blog are personal and belong solely to the blog owner,, an independent consultant.  They do not represent those of people, institutions or organizations that the owner may or may not be associated with in a professional or personal capacity.)