How to Heal e-Learning Heartbreak

We’ve all been there before. A relationship that once promised so much joy and fulfilment that lead to disappointment, disillusionment, heartbreak... and boredom. You daydream about the good times and the intoxicating excitement that consumed you at the start, but all you have now are (largely negative) memories… and a dislike for e-learning.

“E-learning?” you say, “We’ve tried that before. It didn’t work. We ended up with a dull course that our staff could only access from a desktop computer and it didn’t benefit the business at all.”


I hear you dear Victim of e-Learning Heartbreak, and I understand. Imagine me giving you a comforting digital hug or a manly digital slap on the shoulder as you read. You see, I’ve been there too. I have also suffered from e-learning that was so dull I would have rather read Tolstoy’s 1000+ page epic War and Peace in its original Russian, and I don’t even speak Russian. Fortunately I’ve been able to identify some of the most common perpetrators so that we know what to avoid in the future.


The Heartbreakers

Professionals who design e-learning often have to deal with all sorts of external factors such as tight deadlines, budget constraints and difficult clients. This means that a variety of heartbreaking and/or dull courses are produced.


The Info Dumper

This course sends a tsunami of text-filled pages your way. Your poor brain never stood a chance. You’ll probably spend the hours following the module drooling in a catatonic state.


The 90s Design Special

Clip art. Clip art everywhere! And Comic Sans as a font! Oh the humanity!


The Copy and Paste Special

This involves whacking some Power Point files onto an LMS and adding a bored-sounding voice-over. Due to the voice-over, the user is powerless to speed up or slow down navigation and is forced to endure the course at the slithering pace decided by the depressed narrator. Mind-numbing is one word that comes to mind for this. The other words are unprintable.


The Sensory Overload

“Let’s make this course interesting! I know just what to do! We need to add loads of cool video clips of kittens and other cute animals. We’ll also have some music playing in the background! Won’t that course be awesome?!”

No. No it won’t. Please stop.

Some designers decide to carpet bomb trainees with irrelevant media in an attempt to make the course ‘interesting’. If you’ve ever experienced this kind of e-learning then you finished the course feeling quite entertained but unable to remember anything of value.


The Interesting Fact Bomb

Delivering facts, figures, statistics and other pieces of information is the objective of this course. They’re all presented very well. They aren’t even using clip art! It’s an attractive and moderately interesting module but, the only problem is, you don’t see how any of this information can actually help you do your job better.


What becomes of the broken-hearted?

Now that we’ve identified some of the common causes of e-learning heartbreak what do we do about it? Sadly, a lot of people simply write off e-learning and choose to either avoid it at all costs or to relegate it for use only in simple courses and basic knowledge delivery. However, there is another way: the best way to deal with misuse isn’t disuse, but proper use.

Once you’ve seen and experienced what excellent online training could and should look like you’ll realise that it is exactly what your company has been looking for to take it to the next level.

Here are some articles that will give you a good idea of what online training should be and a case study showing what we do at Bolt:

- 5 Best Practices for Knowledge Retention

- How to Make e-Learning Interesting

- Training Techniques: Facilitation

- Stafffinders Case Study


If you'd like us to help you get over past disappointments with e-learning by showing you what online training can really be then get in touch with our team.


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