Top 5 Things NOT To Do when Authoring E-Learning
We always talk about the things that we need to do. Those little dotted “i“ and crossed “t“ type details that make us stand out from the pack as we strive to offer something special and exciting to our students.
But what about the other side of the coin? What about those simple little habits that manage to slip unnoticed through the cracks as they chip away and undermine all of our hard work and dedication? Why do we never talk about these things?
We all know they exist, yet year after year it becomes easier to ignore them altogether rather than take the time to deal with the issue right from the beginning.
Today all of that is about to change. Why, you ask? Well, because today is the day that we start right from the beginning. It’s out with the old and in with the new as we welcome in a new season of learning with a fresh start.
Are you ready? Good. Without further adieu I give you my very own Top 5 Don’ts for the E-Learning world.
1. Don’t Assume
Remember the old saying? To assume makes an (um, donkey) out of “u” and “me.” Well this is one of those sayings that sticks around because it is as catchy as it is true. Every situation, every class, every student should be treated as a fresh encounter. One that stands on its own without being clouded or influenced by what came before … either good or bad.
When we assume we block ourselves from experiencing something new. This is not a good thing. In fact, often than not it is a habit that is both limiting and constricting. Plus, how do we ever expect our students or participants to reach their full potential if we have already judged them before they ever step foot through that virtual door?
So check your assumptions and open your mind, you just might be amazed at what you let in.
2. Don’t Get Lazy
Believe it or not this one goes hand in hand with assumption. See when something has worked in the past we often assume that it will work again. While I understand the logic, this line of thinking also has a tendency to lend its self to laziness. Soon instead of branching out and trying new things you will find yourself rolling out the same old tired material time and time again.
Gets pretty boring doesn’t it?
And not just to you. Trust me when I say that your participants will be drooping in their seats as they struggle to make it through the course.
Not really the goal we are after! So don’t get lazy. Make a point to keep your material fresh and your participants engaged.
3. Don’t Be Redundant
How many times have you heard this one? “Tell’em what your gonna tell’em … tell’em … then tell’em what you told’em!” The perfect formula … right? Yeah, not so much. I mean, yes, there are times when it is important to reiterate important details a time or two, but you have to be careful to draw that fine line between “reiteration” and “redundancy.” Think about it. How much do you like it when someone tells you the same thing 6 times and still expects it to be interesting?
Reiteration is a learning tool. Redundancy is boring. Learn the difference and stick with it.
4. Don’t Go Over the Top
What does it mean to go over the top? Well, let me put it this way. If you have to ask, “is this over the top?,” then it probably is.
Too many graphics? Over the top.
Too many bells and whistles? Over the top.
Too much content? Over the top.
The bottom line is that too much of any good thing has the power to ruin even the best E-Learning initiative. Why? Because they are distracting. When things like this are overdone you lose your audience to all of the pomp and circumstance.
Now instead of focusing on the point at hand, they are waiting for the next flashy gizmo to jump out and entertain them. Not really the best way to facilitate learning and retention!
So keep it fun, but keep it simple. Works best for everyone.
5. Don’t Forget Your “Why“
For me this is the big one. As we fall into the day to day grind, we often forget why we do what we do. Why are we in E-Learning? Why do we teach at all? Why do we even get out of bed in the morning? It really doesn’t matter the question, what matters is the answer. It will be unique to each and every one of us, but it will matter to you.
Remembering your “why” will remind you why it is important for you to give your best each and every day. Why you should care about the “don’ts” and why you are always working to make each day better than the one before.
So remember your why, I promise you’ll be happy you did.
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