3 Common Elearning Process Pitfalls That May Be Holding You Back

Is your standard elearning process working smart enough to support modern learning? In this article, we share three common process pitfalls and explain why they may be holding you back from creating smart elearning.

elearning pitfalls

In our new guide on how to use smarter processes, we pose two questions. Does the common elearning development process best meet your needs for creating agile multi-device learning that can meet the shifting needs of learners and stakeholders? Is it truly empowering people to easily share knowledge with others?

In this article, we share three common process pitfalls and why they may be holding you back from creating smart elearning.

To stay relevant, we need smart elearning.

Investments in online learning are on the rise. However, for elearning to really hit the mark, it needs to move with the times. While ten years ago, elearning was created centrally, rolled out, and completed by employees at desks via learning management systems (LMS), times have indeed changed. We now see consumer-like learners accessing content whenever and wherever they need it. They use their own devices and a plethora of sources, such as Google, YouTube, social networks, internal resource banks, colleagues, and some formally provided elearning.

To stick and to stay relevant, elearning needs to be in sync with modern learning patterns: continuous, mobile, needs-focused, and inherently social. It’s about not only blended learning but also harnessing the power of people by putting collaboration at the heart of elearning itself.

Here’s the problem: is the standard elearning process working smart enough to support this?

Three common pitfalls in the standard elearning process

A smart elearning process maximizes people’s skills and works toward learners’ needs openly and without barriers or blind spots. Unfortunately, the common process has some core pitfalls wherein time, money, and learners’ needs can disappear.

Pitfall 1: Communication breakdowns

The majority of design communication is still done via emails, static mock-ups, and documents that go back and forth between suppliers and customers, often stretching into weeks or months. Experts review content crafted in documents by designers. They rewrite and add to it, often without really understanding the context in which it’s going to be experienced by learners.

Shaping elearning content can sometimes take time for good reason because it’s a scenario that needs to be carefully crafted or a game that requires well-thought-out scoring. Despite this being the case, holding off on being able to experience the interface, interactions, flow, and feel of elearning content while it is polished elsewhere misses the full picture.

It’s a process with major blind spots.

Pitfall 2: Lack of testing

Whether it’s in process or mindset, there’s a lack of end user involvement in the development and testing of elearning. With a rising pressure on learning and training providers to synchronize with learners and prove their worth against freely available content and informal learning methods, there’s a need to work with learners and embrace feedback.

This is certainly possible with traditional processes but is perhaps not helped by the lack of having something to “show” learners early on.

Pitfall 3: Inflexibility to change

Learning does not have a full stop after it, yet all too often elearning projects do. A combination of mindsets and processes that disempower those commissioning elearning from making changes means there can be a “once it’s done, it’s done” attitude.

Let’s face it. After a lengthy development process, there’s a sense of relief in getting elearning content finished from all sides.

However, realistically, both suppliers and commissioners need to embrace a more iterative and change-friendly approach to elearning. They must accept that updates, new versions, and edits may be required, and for good reason. Too often, these are seen as bolt-on extras, rather than the norm.

The upshot

There can be an element of surprise when you see the product and its hidden costs for certain changes for the first time.

There’s also a sink of resources as subject experts must invest a lot of time in gathering, sharing, discussing, and reviewing content out of the context of the actual learning experience and outside the authoring tool.

Complex and stretched-out processes can fog teams’ abilities to stay on target with regard to the audience and goal. This is a risk that learning and development teams cannot afford to take in the modern climate.

The solution

To truly break down communication barriers, remove blind spots, and enable elearning that is shaped around people’s needs at every step of the way, we need a process that has collaboration and iteration at its heart.

In our new guide, How to use smarter processes to speed up elearning production, we discuss the benefits of collaborative technology, how to harness the power of people, and provide seven steps to smarten up your elearning process.

Download your copy and avoid the common pitfalls that could be holding you back.