Many of us would like to take our leadership training online, but in doing so there are a few pitfalls we need to watch out for.
- Thinking that online and classroom training are the same thing. Now this one sounds obvious, but very often companies will take their classroom workbook and paste it into static, dull web pages. The organisation now offers eLearning, tick in the box. Well, I’m not sure you can truly call that eLearning, and this is a big part of the reason that eLearning sometimes has a reputation for being boring. Would you sit your classroom participants down and just ask them to read the workbook all day? Hopefully the answer is no! Online learning needs to make up for the absence of a real-life presenter, this can be done with more exciting media such as video demonstrations and interactive activities.
- Getting the price wrong. This is an easy trap to fall into, and it’s important to understand from the very beginning that people are looking at eLearning in order to cut-costs. Classroom-based training is expensive and companies look to eLearning as a cheaper alternative. Don’t price yourself out of the market, do some research and take a look at what others are charging in your industry. Technology is becoming more and more available and easy to use, you don’t need to throw huge sums of money into eLearning anymore and attempt to transfer the cost the client.
- Point, click, point, click. Another common theme seen in eLearning is point and click interactions. Whilst these types of activities have their place and can be very effective, don’t make it the entire experience. People soon tire of clicking through page after page of text and multiple choice questions. Break it up with video, podcasts and different types of activities.
- Low quality media. If your online training is going to involve video (and it likely should) then make sure you invest in good quality equipment and someone who knows how to use it. Poor video and audio quality will turn people off immediately, no matter how great the content is.
- Not bothering to storyboard. Good eLearning spends as much, if not more time in planning than in development. If an eLearning module hasn’t been storyboarded it shows. To produce powerful, engaging eLearning you need to spend a lot of time thinking about the user experience. If you’re going to just jump into the studio and film because ‘you’re an expert on the subject-matter’ then you will be missing the most vital component – crafting an engaging experience for the user. Online and classroom experiences are very different. Take a look at other online courses and think about the methods they use to engage users in this training format. A little time planning will go a long way!
This isn’t by any means an all-inclusive summary of ALL of the pitfalls that you might come across when taking your management training online but it’s certainly some of the major ones we’ve encountered.