Five drawbacks of online learning and how to rectify them

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Date: 23 February 2021

A man completes an online training course

The world of education and learning is evolving and increasingly elearning and online training is the preferred option, especially in business.

Despite the multiple benefits of online training such as freedom of where students learn, reduced costs, and a huge range of online courses and topics, there are some mistakes that elearning providers are constantly making.

It is only when you understand the common pitfalls that can jeopardise the success of online learning can you make use of its full potential.

Here are five major drawbacks of elearning and their respective solutions. 

1. Technical challenges

Obviously, technical complications can hamper the success of online learning. From compatibility issues (operating systems and smartphones) to network connection issues, it's not uncommon for online courses to fail to start and run as planned.

As a result, learners are left feeling irritated and fail to show interest in the course. 

If this is the case, the solution is simple. Create a course that requires less 'bandwidth', and which has a good script to keep students engaged. 

Don't make learners download and consume the content; instead, deliver compatible courses that are easy to access on both mobile devices and systems.

Include low memory printables that can be accessed at a later date and remember to provide a help page and FAQ section to guide them through any technical difficulties.

2. No one knows the course exists

When you spend months developing the best online course, how does it feel when no one knows your course exists? This is a frequent problem in this fast pacing world - blink and potential customers can miss your course. If you're providing value, you need to spend time marketing your course. 

Launch your course as though it were a movie. Stage every part of your course creation and use social media to spread the word.

Give a 'taste' your course as a free webinar in exchange for potential students' personal details like name and email. Once you have a target group, update the subscribers via newsletters. It immediately sparks interest and creates a buzz among your target learners. 

3. Boring content

Even though online content can replace face-to-face classroom teaching, it isn't always successful. Many elearning providers make the mistake of offering never-ending, long-winded lectures, which fail to engage students. 

At the end of the day, students are left feeling bored and pay zero attention to lectures.

To solve this, make sure you create a dynamic, fun, and interactive online courses. Implement storytelling, videos, animations, game-based learning into your content. 

On top of this, you can offer certificates to all the students who complete each section of the course. It incentives students to complete the next step of the course and makes it more likely they will complete the course. 

4. Fail to practice

Learning without putting that knowledge into practise is just a piece of information that remains unused. Sadly, many elearning providers focus solely on theoretical lessons and do not give students the opportunity to put the learning to practical use.

Consequently, learners quickly forget everything they learned in the online course and never used the knowledge.

When you implement simulations into your course, it helps learners practice what they have learned. Plus, it gives students the opportunity to test whether their knowledge has really been embedded in a safe learning environment.

5. No personal support

Despite the many advantages of online courses, there are some limitations. The key downside is that there is no human contact. This can leave learners frustrated when there is no one to turn to when they are experiencing difficulties.

Learners often look for personalised support to answer questions and clarify issues. To get around this issue, you can organise a webinar or establish a forum for discussion to resolve their problems.

Utilise social media to humanise the learning process. Sometimes, including blended learning strategies - a combination of classroom training and online teaching - does wonders. 

The bottom line

Elearning is a boon to the learning world. Even though it can take time for both elearning providers and the learners to navigate the technological hurdles, it is completely worth the time and effort.

Copyright 2021. Article was made possible by site supporter Suzanne Elly, blogger, content marketer and editor with in-depth experience in a diverse range of industries writing on business and marketing topics in Asia, North America, and Europe.

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