What makes a great eLearning course?

I’ve been both a student and a course administrator of eLearning courses.

I have personally taken an eLearning course that was sold as an online course, but was little more than a pdf of a book, slapped together with an assignment to accompany it. This to me is the laziest and worst form of eLearning, and in fact isn’t truly eLearning at all. This particular one was sold from an eLearning course onseller, so there was very little student support. There was no contact from the RTO and I did not complete the course.

However I am grateful for this experience  because it highlighted to me all the things that I did not want my own students to experience.

Now I focus on the following when putting together and delivering eLearning courses:

  • make the course fun and interactive
  • keep the wording simple and easy to follow
  • don’t say in 30 words what you can say in 10
  • don’t clutter a screen with wads of information, break it down into manageable chunks
  • use vibrant and relevant images
  • videos as a great way to bring hard to follow information to life
  • animations to break up a boring topic or highlight an important topic in a fun way
  • not everyone learns the same, you need to have different ways to teach people via eLearning
  • spell check many times, and have at least two people test the course
  • trainers need to be accessible reasonably quickly
  • there should always be someone to answer the phone and make the student feel welcomed
  • assessments should be clear, and feedback should be thorough
  • ongoing support is vital to any eLearning course
  • tough love is sometimes needed
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  • Reply

    “Don’t say in 30 words what you can say in 10” – amen to that!

    Nice set of criteria, and well said about lazy elearning! The bad examples are certainly good lessons for the rest of us.

    When I’m reading or listening to some training, it’s so frustrating if it’s too wordy. (I also tend to play YouTube and Lynda.com videos at higher speed! Was recently delighted to find a simple trick for doing likewise with Vimeo, too.)

    You might find these writing tips interesting. And if you’ve any other examples to add, by all means leave a comment.

    (I wrote the tips in the context of presentations, but they apply just as much to elearning or other formats. I’ve also a few posts about elearning, if you’re curious.)

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