How to avoid the potential pitfalls of eLearning

There are so many benefits to eLearning – lower costs, faster delivery, flexibility in where and when learning takes place – that it’s easy to forget there are some potential pitfalls too. Here we look at how you can anticipate and avoid some of the more common difficulties companies encounter when getting started with electronic learning.

While eLearning has come a long way, thinking about the potential pitfalls before designing and implementing your program is essential.

Poor engagement

eLearning creates many opportunities for organisations to engage learners in new and innovative ways. But this isn’t always a simple process, especially if you don’t tailor content to suit a digital context.

Some organisations run into difficulties when they attempt to turn their existing training materials into eLearning content, resulting in poorly written, text-heavy modules.

Instead, consider how the digital environment could make things more engaging for users. Programs that include dynamic content like games, quizzes, visually arresting multimedia and instant affirmations may help to keep your audience engaged longer, encourage them to continue and motivate them to return to your learning programs in the future.

Varied skill levels

While technology continues to be integral to our daily lives, it doesn’t necessarily follow that everyone is equally skilled in its use. Some students may have had considerable exposure to technology across their lifetime and be accordingly tech-savvy. Others may be newer to technology, or have had limited access to it, and are therefore not as competent.

When designing an eLearning initiative, it’s important to accommodate these different levels of familiarity with technology and online platforms. For that reason, make sure you provide clear, easy-to-follow instructions on how to use your e-learning platform, and focus on one aspect of your program at a time so that learners don’t feel overwhelmed. As they move through the modules, users will become more confident in their ability to learn using this new method.

Your course is too generic

You may be tempted to fashion your own course from cheap, already available online resources, but you must resist – the potential to miss the mark with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach is too great.

Failing to customise your e-learning program could mean your trainees won’t learn anything useful, and you’ll waste time and money in the process.

It is therefore essential to consider which style and level of learning best suits your trainees. The biggest advantage of eLearning is that it can be fully customisable to your organisation. Specialist solutions that speak to your unique compliance needs, your particular industry and the make-up of your company means that your course will cover what you need it to and accomplish learning more comprehensively.

Understanding the data

Creating a good eLearning program is one thing, but understanding the results is another. You may be communicating all the information you want to impart, but do your learners understand it? Have you asked them the right questions to assess their comprehension? Can you read the results in order to take positive actions for future instruction and your organisation’s success?

The potential pitfall of not understanding your eLearning program’s results is that you will miss gaps in knowledge and fail to apply insights you derive from tactics that are working.

The ability to use real-time data to track learning and accurately assess learners’ accomplishments through relevant assessment questions, recording systems and then generating accurate, useful reports can be the difference between the success and failure of your entire program.

One way to avoid these pitfalls is to engage an eLearning provider. A good provider will work closely with your organisation to create learning materials tailored to your needs and goals. You’ll benefit from its awareness of how to avoid any pitfalls, and its experience in putting together courses that deliver strong learning outcomes.

Regardless of how you implement it, eLearning is a powerful tool for developing your staff and giving your organisation new capabilities.


Want to learn more? Then download our free e-book: Beginner’s guide to e-learning systems.