Is Your eLearning Course Rigorous Enough?
The critics of eLearning courses in the traditional education sector say that they are too soft in their evaluation of students and end up doing the general student populace a disservice. That’s not exactly providing a full picture of things, but many eLearning courses do suffer from trading in rigor for gifting students the right answers.
For an eLearning course to truly hit its mark and be both efficacious and worthwhile for the learners going forward, there has to be an inherent challenge that forces learners to utilize their toolsets and learn other tools in order to beat it.
Not only do you need entertaining eLearning content that can keep your student populace’s attention on in an online environment, but you also need to ensure that content is serving its purpose in teaching them something.
Without giving them a bit of difficulty to hash through, you’re putting them at a disadvantage when it comes to potential retention and being able to utilize course concepts in the future.
Pushing Them Without Pushing Them Away
Your key goal when it comes to making an eLearning course rigorous enough to be worthwhile should be to balance that with an attractive presentation that makes learners want to work hard.
Loading up a bunch of dense concepts and content with hopes of testing them on it doesn’t fit the bill anymore. That may work, to an extent, in a lecture format in person, but there are too many factors diverting an eLearner’s attention for this to make any sense online.
Ensure your testing has weight. Make sure that you don’t gift your students the answers in lieu of having them figure those out on their own.
However, make the learning process to get to that testing entertaining enough for them to care. Utilize multimedia to your advantage. Create textual references and connections that both challenge them as readers and force them to think about the concepts on new terms.
Utilize the creativity of your content creators to its full capacity. Get your learners out of their comfort zones and force them to think. Give them things to think about!
That way, a harder test won’t hurt them or alienate them. In fact, they’ll have retained things much better and may be much more prepared to face such a test.
Solicit Honest Feedback
eLearning companies’ content creation departments are usually not departments at all. Especially when things are in the startup phase, a lot of content creators for these companies are wearing several different hats in the company trying to get it off the ground.
Thus, it’s hard for these content creators to step back and evaluate their own content because there truly just isn’t enough time during the day. Seeking feedback from a third party or from private surveys of your student populace can help you focus on what parts of your content are landing and what parts aren’t.
Furthermore, you can look a layer or two deeper into this feedback and see if what’s coming back to you shows a level of engagement and intellectual affectation. If it doesn’t, you may need to rethink how your courses are coming off.
Whether that means outsourcing content creation or doing more editing to ensure things are more rigorous overall, doing the legwork to find out how these courses are coming across is a big first step.
To get out of the trap of becoming “too soft,” you have to set yourself apart from the others. Content Creation is extremely important for your courses, but the way you organize your courses may be just as much, if not more, important in the long run.