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How to Reduce the Negative Impact of "Boring" eLearning Content

Updated: Jan 19

When we think of engaging eLearning, we rarely think of the 1-hour self-paced courses with drab material. As much as we push for more engaging courses, there's only so much we can do to dress up mundane content.

Woman using computer and writing notes

One of the biggest complaints I hear around eLearning centers on courses that are too long or just "boring". The complaints are valid. I aim to create or curate courses that involve a certain level of interactivity and engagement. Realistically, it's not always possible to have super engaging courses. This may be due to regulatory course requirements, material complexity, 3rd party created courses or system limitations.

As you build the course library for your company, consider these tips:

Communicate with your learners

Your courses should set clear expectations. Communicate objectives, course durations, and assessment/quiz requirements upfront. This will reduce the number of surprises the learner may experience throughout the course.

Break your courses into mini-sections

More complex or difficult material should be broken down into sections. Self-paced learning is not always the best delivery model for some learners. Sometimes, there are no alternatives - especially for remote workers. Although most platforms will allow the learner to exit and pick up where they left off, don't leave it to the learner to create their own breaks. Create courses that have natural breaks. This will allow your learner to pause and absorb the material as necessary.

Include visual aids & interactions

If you're creating courses, include interactivity and visual aids throughout the course. This could include a video tutorial, point-and-click interactions, audio files, and knowledge checks. You'll want to engage the senses of the learner to keep their attention on the course.

And speaking of audio files, the voice for the audio should be professional and include vocal inflections. No one wants to listen to a monotone voice.

Step into the learner's shoes

We don't always have time to take a full course when we are curating a library. However, if you have an idea that a course may be difficult or you've received negative feedback, take the course. This will allow you the opportunity to see things from the learner's viewpoint. From there, you can make adjustments to the course or communications to help improve the overall experience. If you find the course unpleasant or tough to sit through, imagine how your learners will feel.


These are just a few tips to help you improve the delivery of difficult eLearning content. Do you have additional tips? Leave them in the comments.


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