Online learning is becoming more and more popular as millions of people seek to learn new skills through the Internet. As a result, more and more e-courses appear on the market. How to stand out if you plan to launch your training or webinar series? The answer is simple: do not make mistakes.
The first mistake is perfectionism. You need to forget about wanting to create the perfect eLearning course. Too much perfection has never led to good results. However, there are more significant mistakes when creating courses, and let's consider them in more detail.
1. There is no well-considered topic, purpose and course structure
If you ignore your target audience, you are making a critical mistake. You will not create a quality online course without a thoughtful approach to potential students. Therefore, such a product can be thrown into the trash.
Before you start working on the course in more detail, start with the basics. First, find out why you decided to create a series of webinars or pieces of training? This will form the primary mission of the course.
In addition, it is vital to understand if your target audience wants to take this course. Naturally, you can line up to your topic, but will potential students have the same intense attraction? At the same time, you should not extend the course to the size of a college program with classes lasting more than 2 hours. In this case, you risk losing all the students. It is better to divide the training material into separate modules or apply micro-learning strategies. The step-by-step presentation of information guarantees a complete learning and correct application of knowledge in practice.
Once you fix this issue, you can pay attention to other details.
2. The course is taking too long
This mistake is related to the previous one. You may definitely want to get the most from the course and offer students the most detailed information. However, quantity does not always mean quality. Therefore, creating an online course lasting hundreds of hours is incredibly wrong.
Now you can easily access knowledge via the Internet, but not everyone has the time to learn.
It is much better to follow the perimeters of text and video content. Texts can be improved in two ways:
- Simple word count is the easiest way to create clear and concise material.
- Usage of unique services that work in real-time and give tips on how to improve your text.
As for video content, the optimal duration of a lesson is up to 10 minutes, which allows students to concentrate as much as possible on the lesson's material.
It is pretty difficult to force someone to study for several months in current conditions. After all, even short courses can be challenging. However, a course with short modules is a great idea. Firstly, it allows you to maintain a stable interest among students. And secondly, short videos can be watched at any convenient time (even during a lunch break at work).
3. There are no metrics to track eLearning performance
Another big mistake is not tracking your online course metrics. Measuring performance is critical to understanding the benefits of the content, and the easiest way to do this is through the feedback form. Educational experts recommend attaching it to your course using special services (for example, Google Forms or Survey Monkey).
The following questions should be added to the form:
- How suitable is the current format of the online course for the student?
- Is the course easy to navigate?
- How easy is it to learn the lessons you offer?
- How does the student evaluate the level of video and graphics?
- What is missing in the e-course, and what seems superfluous?
It is also worth studying critical numbers in an online course. For example, how much time do students spend studying and how often they visit the educational platform. If possible, observe the changes to students after completing the training - how they use new knowledge in practice and how their behavior has changed.
4. You are not proofread texts for the course
The students trust you with their training as specialists. And it would be highly embarrassing for them to notice the incorrect spelling of words and the construction of sentences. Even the slightest mistake will make users doubt the uniqueness of the materials. After all, you not only made mistakes but did not even bother to correct them.
The biggest mistake you can make is to steal educational content blatantly. Therefore, when creating an electronic course, it is better to use anti-plagiarism services to ensure that the texts are original.
Maintaining a professional look and tone of voice for your online course is also crucial. Therefore, reduce text formatting (bold, underlining, italics) and capital letters in posts on social networks to a minimum.
5. Lack of communication with students
Communication with students is the most important part of e-learning. It doesn't matter if you do it online or offline. The teacher's primary role is not to help students learn new topics but to motivate them to develop. The right mentor who helps you focus on learning is 50% of success. And if there is no connection with the teacher, then there is no point in improving yourself. As a result, students will leave your online course.
Provide high-quality feedback on homework and have a one-to-one ratio with all students. If your resources are not enough, hire other teachers who will help the students grow.
6. You placed course materials in the cloud storage
If you place video, audio, and slides in the cloud, they may not display correctly on other devices. It is much better to use trustworthy educational platforms. These universal solutions allow you to conveniently post materials on the Web, while each student will have a separate personal account to access educational content.
However, there are dozens of such platforms, so choosing a convenient and functional solution for creating and launching electronic courses is crucial. You don't need to invent anything else because the developers have already done everything for you.
Use our checklist to choose a perfect website:
- The platform should provide access to a complete set of tools for working on educational content (without hidden fees).
- The website has a functional course builder to create modules, add images and videos, record new lessons, and launch final exams.
- The service offers a convenient chat for communication between students and teachers.
- The platform allows you to create a registration form for the course quickly.
- You can efficiently distribute access rights to the service among inspectors, course facilitators, and other teachers.
- The website offers basic notifications to students about the course they are taking.
Educational platforms end all problems with the technical part of eLearning development. Therefore, you can safely create top-notch content and build communication with listeners.
7. There is no adequate response to criticism
Unfortunately, criticism is inevitable, and no one wants to know that they did not do everything as expected. However, it is imperative to get an adverse reaction from students to make the e-course better.
If you avoid negative feedback and criticism and are unwilling to listen to suggestions for improving the course, you can forget about a practical course. Ignoring the requests of the audience = lack of communication = outflow of students.
It is much better to consider criticism and make the necessary changes. By doing this, you show that you are interested in your students' success and remember their intention to succeed, thereby increasing trust and authority.
How to avoid such mistakes
But there is good news: all the defects can be easily and quickly fixed. Use the following tips to make your course better!
Explain the structure of the course to the students
New knowledge is more difficult to understand if you have not told students about the structure of the e-course. Remind your learners regularly of how each stage relates to the end goal. Summarize each topic and module, reflecting on the topics covered and those you will study in the future. It is also worth saying basic and specific terms from your training series. All this will ensure that students understand the educational material and understand you.
Don't forget about consolidation
This has been a problem even during the school years. Remember the situation when the teacher asks, "Is everything clear?" after explaining a new topic, and then they listen to the sound of silence. Students are simply embarrassed to show that they do not fully understand the material, and it needs to be explained again.
The same is true for online courses. Therefore, you need to exploit a completely different approach here. So, to consolidate the theory, you should go to the practical part and analyze a specific example. For example, offer to solve a similar task on your own. You can also change the task's context so that students can remember the theory and find the right solutions. The more practical examples you consider, the more likely you will successfully consolidate knowledge.
Provide students with examples
Learning without a theoretical basis is impossible. However, it is essential to show the students how to apply the knowledge. Let them think of how the theory can help in different situations. If people understand that new information brings complete life changes, they become psychologically satisfied.
Pay attention to tests
Final tests are one of the main parts of the e-course. They allow you to determine how students have learned knowledge and find difficult questions in the educational material. Experts recommend adding midterms after each module and control tasks after a large piece, of course. Choose questions from different topics; it helps students search for the necessary information and create the structure of the answer. At the same time, the solution should not be based entirely on theory but, on the contrary, should make one think outside the box.
Start a test launch
After creating an online course, you need to conduct a trial run. To do this, select a limited audience (up to 50 people). As a result of the "test drive," you will get the first feedback from the students and will be able to use it to fix problems.
These tips will help you avoid mistakes and create a highly effective online course that will benefit people.
Remember, it's completely normal to make mistakes, and the main thing is to find and fix bugs in time. There are no perfect online courses and teachers, as well as students. So don't be afraid to try different formats, collect feedback from your audience, and use quality online tools.
We hope that you find our article helpful. If you have any questions about creating eLearning, leave them in the comments below. We will answer all your questions and analyze the most interesting ones in our following materials. Good luck!