4 Things I Can't Stand About eLearning
We say education is important. We say it for our kids; we say it at work. But then it seems like we rush by it, too busy to really make it important. That leaves me with 4 things I just can't stand about elearning!
- eLearning that's like drinking from a fire hose. Not everything is important. Really. Yet everyone who has a stake in elearning seems to think all of their content simply must be in the course. Don't drown your learners. Instead, figure out how much they can absorb from a course. At best, it's just three or four things. If you really get good at it, maybe twice that. So first, know what your learner needs to know to perform--everything else is out. Secondly, some learners will want to make a deep dive on some concepts. So put this stuff back in. Make it easy to find, but don't confuse anyone that it's part of the main content.
- Calling eReading eLearning. Once you've cut down the amount of content, proceed to cutting down how many words you use on a screen. Remember that graphics and photographs speak volumes. So do short video and audio clips. Also remember that, when online, people like to browse, not read. Sometimes we do use what we call a "laser statement" in place of a headline. It's the sentence and a half that holds all the meaning for that screen. Savvy learners read that, get it, and go on. The more novice learners read the 40 or 50 words below that. And if the word count goes over 70, we shoot someone. As Mies Van der Rohe said, sometimes "Less is more."
- Tactics without strategy. In a hurry, we latch on to "good" ideas and rush to implement them. For instance, you put a bunch of product information on your website because you want people to buy your products. They can get that on any website. It's a tactic. But introduce a friendly avatar that can answer questions and help people decide what product fits them best. Informing customers and empowering them to buy...now that's a strategy. And a good one, I might add.
- Worrying about budget instead of ROI. Talk about your pet peeves--this is definitely one of mine. One of our new customers recently came to us with a tactical need and $15,000 to spend. We took a couple hours together, and came up with a really good strategy. Our client took the strategy back to the boss, and happily the budget grew 4X. Why? Because the boss knew he'd get more than 4 times as much return out of our strategy. It's frequently better to think about making money than saving it.
If you have any pet peeves, or things you can't stand about elearning, share them here. If not, just wait--I'm sure to come up with more.