8 Mistakes to Avoid When Moving from Instructor-Led Training to E-Learning
Transforming training in your organisation from instructor led training (ILT) to e-learning will improve return on investment from your training initiatives, help with compliance, and raise overall standards. However, it is possible to make mistakes during the transfer – mistakes that will reduce the impact of e-learning’s benefits.
Being aware of the potential mistakes is the first step to avoiding them. Here are eight of the most common.
Mistake 1 – Copying and Pasting Classroom Training Into an E-Learning Course
E-learning is about much more than simply delivering training online. Presenting content in e-learning requires a different structure and approach compared to ILT, and there are various features and training strategies that you can include in your e-learning courses to ensure they are as effective as possible.
So, don’t just convert your existing PowerPoint slides and other ILT content into e-learning by copying and pasting. You can use this content as a starting point, but make sure you develop your e-learning courses from the ground up for the best results.
Mistake 2 – Charging Straight in By Creating Content
The above point highlights the need to create fresh content for e-learning courses, but you shouldn’t dive right in at this point. E-learning courses require careful planning to organise the structure and decide what information and material will be on each screen. Wireframes and storyboards are usually required so you can properly visualise the course as a whole.
This is where you should start, with content creation coming later in the process.
Mistake 3 – Retaining Superfluous Information
ILT can contain a lot of information, much of which is related to the main topic, but is not specifically focused on it. The best e-learning courses have content that is focused on the main topic, with related content offered as additional material.
This means you might need to cut back on the information currently in your ILT when transferring it to e-learning.
Mistake 4 – Failing to Include Interactive Elements
One of the main benefits of e-learning is that you can include different interactive elements. These interactive elements make the process of learning active rather than passive, helping to improve learner engagement levels.
To get the most from e-learning, it is best to include interactive elements. This is likely to mean further developing and updating your existing content.
Mistake 5 – Using Simple Media
When it comes to media, ILT is usually restricted to images. With e-learning, however, you can include several different types of media to bring the content to life and help learners understand the topic.
So, don’t just transfer images, media, and videos from ILT to e-learning without carefully considering how the existing content can be improved. You should also consider any new media elements it will be beneficial to create.
Mistake 6 – Doing Too Much Too Soon
Moving from ILT to e-learning is a significant cultural shift. From your perspective, you will need to become familiar with the process, particularly if you don’t have any experience with e-learning. Others in your organisation will also need to adapt to the new way of training and learning. You might find people are anxious or nervous, and there might be some resistance.
None of these issues are unusual, but you will need to work through them. Going too far too soon, however, will make the process more challenging than it needs to be.
The best approach is to start on a smaller scale, often with a single course. You can use this process to find out what works and the areas that should be refined.
Mistake 7 – Not Focusing Enough on Design
Design is not a major consideration for ILT. Sometimes you need to select a venue, organise food, and create PowerPoint presentations. The latter does involve a bit of design, while the rest are about presentation, which is important.
With e-learning, design is essential. Getting the design of your course right will facilitate the learning process and encourage learners to engage with the content. Good design is also important for branding purposes and to ensure any messages you want to communicate are clear and understood.
Good design is essential for usability, too, as design isn’t just about having strong branding and making your e-learning courses look professional. Good design will help learners navigate through each section of the course and find the information they need.
Mistake 8 – Not Testing
It is difficult to test an ILT course without getting people into a room to actually conduct the training. The process of testing is much easier with e-learning. So much easier, in fact, that it is an essential part of the process.
As e-learning courses can be easily and quickly distributed, you can test your course on whatever scale you think best. You will get information through the e-learning analytics dashboard of the platform that you use, plus you should also ask for learner feedback. This information will help you make refinements.
In fact, with e-learning, testing should be a never-ending process. While the course remains relevant and continues to be used, you should review it and make improvements wherever necessary.
Getting it Right from the Start
Moving from ILT to e-learning for part of your training strategy is a process that will take time. It can help to have guidance and assistance from an e-learning developer not just to do the technical and creative elements, but to also help you with planning and organising your approach. Whatever path you choose, avoiding the mistakes on this list from the start will help to keep you on the right track.