5 Reasons Learners Hate Your Online Course

Pet peeves. Everyone has them. And as it turns out, learners might have a lot more pet peeves about your course than you realize! Today at Your Everything for e-Learning Place, we’re shining the light on 5 pet peeves learners have about online training courses.

1. Patronizing Tone

Does your course really need a slide on “How to use this e-Learning module?” Adult learners want to be treated like adults, not children just learning how to study. Most learners who have used a computer before can figure out how to click through an e-Learning module. And they definitely don’t need text boxes explaining what each button does!

2. Poor Design

Yes, you CAN animate that object to fly across the screen as soon as you advance to the next slide. But should you? If your course is about the flight paths of sugar gliders, go ahead and animate that graphic. Otherwise, your learners will probably thank you for your restraint. Too many animations, weird interactions and bad clip art graphics are at the top of learners’ design-related pet peeves.

3. Performance Issues

Sometimes you can’t control the equipment and internet connection your learners are using. But you can test your course for broken links and do a few other things on your end to optimize course performance. For example, don’t overload your course with multimedia that will cause slow loading. A learner is taking time out of his or her busy day to take this course; nothing is more frustrating than watching the cursor spin endlessly in circles as a page loads.

4. Locked Navigation

This is the practice of making the learner click everything that’s possible to click on a page before the page will advance. This is usually done to “ensure understanding” by the learner, but is it really helping? Feedback from learners suggests that it’s just frustrating them.

5. Zero Substance

Were you tasked to turn a small amount of content into a full, hour-long e-Learning course? Now is the time to put your foot down. Learners don’t want to waste their time on a course that doesn’t have any substance to it—try creating a job aid instead. In addition, avoid excessive use of business jargon like “synergy,” “right-sizing,” “empower” and “circle back.” Instead, use terms that resonate with your learners and what they actually do every day. Last but not least, learners hate watching recorded PowerPoint slides with a voiceover added to “spice things up.” Give them something to interact with and engage.

What are your pet peeves about online training? Have you ever been asked by a client to create an e-Learning course like those described above?

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