Developing an eLearning course, it is vital to remember that you should know your target audience first of all and focus not only on specific challenges of your course subject but on the general hardships that come along with distance learning and modern educational technologies online. Starting with the correct learning management system to the sorting of curriculum modules, you should consider mixing your text content with the interactive elements to make things more vivid.
First, establish a solid project management process in your learning development to avoid chaos, object cluttering, and missed deadlines. While you may allocate certain periods of time for each task, it does not always work in practice, which is why you should add flexibility to your eLearning course and collect feedback both from your learners and people involved in the development and testing. Such an approach will help you to outline those problems that are related to your particular eLearning program precisely, as well as come up with a list of possible and most efficient solutions.
9 Challenges Faced by eLearning Course Developers
1. Knowing Your Target Audience.
One of the most challenging tasks is knowing your audience and studying all academic objectives and practical necessities that you would like to implement in your eLearning course. Since we are dealing with remote and online education, you should either focus on those learners that start their academic journey from scratch or focus on those students who already have some practical experience. It will help you to create several curriculum outlets and complexity levels for your course, instead of mixing it all into the same boiling pot where both novices and professionals learn. The most challenging part is setting the mental and physical borders for your course audience to meet your particular niche and remain in demand.
2. Keeping Your Grammar Accurate.
Unfortunately, more than half of eLearning courses today have no proofreading or proper editing in their instructions, questions, and even learning materials. It usually happens because instructors do not really participate in the process of composition of every educational model. The mistakes are usually spotted only when the students start learning or ask questions about why some parts are repeating themselves, or when poor grammar is encountered. “As a rule, when the eLearning course is created, it must be proofread and checked by relevant specialists who may bring certain corrections. If one ignores this part, the eCourse is doomed to fail as the students won’t gain any writing skills” – explains Vince Clark, an eLearning developer at SupremeDissertations. Indeed, keeping things accurate will also help any learner learn correct writing mechanics.
3. Maintaining Good Course Navigation Rules.
One of the most apparent challenges lies in the creation of comfortable navigation that is comprehensive and allows going back and forth between various course modules. It should include various online testing and examination methods. Do not forget about including various tools that help track your learners’ progress. The key is to take away the element of confusion as people navigate through the course. If any additional software is involved, take time for proper beta testing and focus on user suggestions.
4. Adding Interactive Elements.
Divide your course information into smaller chunks and see how you can add more life to complex theories. It may include helpful videos, memes, animation, audio examples, various academic essay samples, or even lecture recordings. Do not forget that you can add certain games because gamification is quite useful for learning. Considering the fact that every learner needs some entertainment or something to set one’s mind off, adding an entertaining game (when it is least expected) will work wonders for your success.
5. Choosing Methodology and Instructional Model.
Perhaps, it is one of the most challenging aspects of designing an eLearning course correctly. While it is impossible to know in advance what might work the best way, the key is to come up with a list of various methodology methods and instructional strategies. Ask yourself what helps you to achieve the most and what seems to reflect the vision and key concepts of your course. Talk to your instructors and see how you can address the accessibility and clarity factors.
6. Facing Temporal Aspects of eLearning.
Time is always short, which is why you must evaluate what techniques and special tracking tools can help you meet every deadline and calculate your course’s length. Remember that your design process should focus on clarity and accessibility without making things overly complex. This way your design process won’t cost a fortune and will revolve around something that you can actually narrow down. Divide your tasks for critical and those that can be approached as things keep progressing. This way you can communicate with your instructors, beta testers, stakeholders, and anyone on your team immediately.
7. Addressing Online Communication Issues.
Make sure that you are using good learning management systems (also known as LMS solutions). It will help you to provide your learners with the best communication tools and use every positive aspect of technology. Do not forget about privacy rules and access privileges as these may become necessary. Compose automated help messages for students with clear instructions and ensure that there is an urgent contact option where you can be reached during online/work hours.
8. Course Promotion Factor.
Include various SEO tools and promote your course actively even as it is being created. You can use anything from LinkedIn and Facebook to Instagram and Twitter. Collaborate with influencers, talk to fellow educators, participate in various educational campaigns, and get the word out there. It will help people to get inspired and learn more about your course by leaving suggestions and relevant questions.
9. Keeping Your Content Unique.
Another prominent issue with eLearning courses is avoiding plagiarism even when you have to implement certain scientific references or provide examples. It is easy to get trapped in copyright claims and legal disputes. “Educators and content developers should not ignore professional editing and formatting with the provision of every source in relevant writing styles like APA and MLA. Taking a day to address this issue will save you from weeks of legal trouble” – explains Mary-Ann Rogers, an editing expert at TrustMyPaper. Think about checking your content before publishing anything, be it a blog post or any content that you share online. It will always pay off!
Do Not Ignore eLearning Course Design Matters
The most common mistake of online course developers is starting with something useful and stopping any further development because the course is already running. Do not take such an approach because you should always improve your learning outcomes and add valuable information just like any good university professor would. Think about how lecturers get ready for their lessons by researching their subjects. Any good eLearning solution should work this way, too. Think about providing more real-life examples to help your learners see how they can apply gained skills in practice. It is also good to use various case studies or model-specific situations where things can be explained better based on recent events or more relevant examples. Summing things up, your course should always grow and inspire your audience!