Why eLearning is Boring?

Why eLearning is Boring?

Why is eLearning boring? One of the most common questions been asked by the learners. There could be many possibilities behind it. Some of them are given below:

Unclear goals:

It’s important to know about the goals before you say “Yes” to any project. If you have unclear goals, your course will take another direction that might distract your learners.

Following are the questions you need to ask:

  • What is the goal of this course? Or what are you getting out of this course?
  • Who are the learners of this course?
  • How does this make a difference from Instructor-led?
  • Would you like this course technical or non-technical?
  • Ask these questions to the stakeholders so you understand the goal of the course.

Identify learners:

The majority of the courses built under the assumption of an ideal learner. We somehow idealized them in our mind and start designing. This could be one of the biggest failures.

How many of you send surveys to the learners before designing the prototype?

Analyzing the content is as important as analyzing the learners.

The question is: How can we identify learner’s type?

The best answer is to sit with them and understand the nature of their jobs.

Design Flow:

After working with some companies for a decade, I’ve come to realized that there are different types of learners depending on the culture and environment of the company.

Some like:

  • Reading
  • To be prompted after every 2 slides – Interactive and engaging
  • To learn while playing games - Gamification
  • To learn while watching and listening to the content – Storytelling or
  • Video based
  • Scenario based

When you are designing an e-learning course, it means you are showing your instructional design skills in front of others. Understanding of the content and approach is important. As Albert Einstein said:

Budget issues:

Middle and small companies think that the authoring tools like Articulate Storyline and Adobe Captivate are expensive. They don’t know the potential of those tools and prefer instructor-led training by using online web conferencing tools like WebEx, GoToMeeting, and Zoom. Instructor-Led training is crucial, but not all training can be delivered like this. It will not be that effective and acquire more resources. However, you need to understand their situation and instead of arguing about it, select the topics you think may work if they delivered as Asynchronous. Design a storyboard, download the trial version of any authoring tool and show your manager. Tell him/her, how much time and effort it will reduce if you have an authoring tool. The outcome will be extraordinary.

Wrap up:
eLearning is capturing lots of attention these days. Many people would like to see this as their career. There is nothing wrong with it if you know how to do it. It is just like you driving a car. You cannot be a good driver if you don’t know what to do in different situations.

eLearning is somehow like that. There are multiple factors you need to consider before you start designing eLearning course. Above are some of my secret sauces.

2 Replies
Dave Cox

You've made some very good and valid points here. The concepts for learning apply not only to eLearning, but any type of training presentation. I can't tell you how many boring lectures that I've sat through, that did not meet the learning goals, or even had defined learning objectives. ELearning is only one form of delivery, and like everything else in a course, you must determine if it is the correct format for the material. Sometimes, it isn't. And then, even it is is the correct format, if the content is not presented well, it can still be boring and hard to understand. It isn't eLearning that is boring. It is the presentation. Any content can be poorly delivered. But if presented properly, the message can be entertaining, exciting, and educational all at the same time.