How To Avoid The Most Common eLearning Development Risks
Launching your own online training course for the first time can be a challenging task. It takes countless hours of planning and designing to get to the end result. And even then, there are quite a few risks to keep in mind. But don’t worry! eLearning is worth the risk, as long as you know what to expect. In this article, we share the 5 most common eLearning development risks and tips on how to avoid them.
5 Risks To Keep In Mind When Launching An Online Course
1. Low ROI Risk
This is an eLearning development risk everyone fears when starting out. What happens if you spend great amounts of time and money to create an online course but you don’t get the expected results? How can you be sure that employee productivity increases enough to justify the expenses? Or, if you’re creating courses for other organizations, that you will reach your purchase goals? To avoid this risk, you must be certain that there is indeed market demand for the service you want to offer.
Before mapping out a training program and choosing suitable authoring tools, you must research the market (or your organization) for gaps. If you have misjudged the training needs of the industry or, more specifically, your employees, chances are you won’t get the results you were expecting. Moreover, you could consider creating a need in the market by building a course that offers certifications that must be updated. This way, you gain a loyal audience and you make sure that their skills are always up to date.
2. Content Quality Risk
Many online courses fail quickly because their content is not up to par with what learners are used to. Maybe the modules are too long, or the information doesn’t hold the learner’s attention. This doesn’t mean that your content is boring or has no value to add. However, most of the time, creating an effective and engaging online course takes a lot of in-depth designing and planning.
- Careful design and testing
Instructional Designers can help you present information in an engaging format, using multimedia, serious games, scenarios, etc. They also know how to organize it in bite-sized modules learners can easily get through. In addition, you must thoroughly test your online course to make sure that the selected training options fit your target audience. You can do that by administering pilot versions to smaller focus groups. This way, when you finally release the course, all issues and “slow points” will have been ironed out.
3. Ineffective Marketing Risk
Properly marketing your online course is crucial for its success. It informs your target audience and incentivizes them to use it to address the pain points in their organization. However, even if you have created a high-quality course that covers an important knowledge gap in the market, an ineffective marketing strategy won’t make it stand out among your competitors.
As in the previous eLearning development risks, the solution lies once again in planning ahead. Here are a few questions you must ask yourself when creating a marketing strategy for your online course. Who is your target audience? Which platforms do they mostly use? Will you offer incentives such as discounts? Will you create content that promotes your course? Once you have all these answers, you can sit down with your team and create a marketing plan that will catch the attention of your target audience and help you accomplish your goals.
4. Security Risks
All businesses dealing with eLearning development should know that there is a possibility that your content will be misused online. Online learners might share training material without permission, or third parties could access your product and market it as their own. In any case, it is up to you to take security measures so that all your hard work doesn’t go to waste.
- Content protection measures
A great first step to protect your content is using Digital Right Management (DRM) for copyright protection. DRM ensures that your content can’t be copied and distributed without authorization. To avoid external threats, you should invest in a strong firewall to keep hackers at bay. Don’t forget to also use cryptography for all internal and external communications. These measures will help you feel safe that your content won’t fall in the wrong hands.
5. Overestimating Resources Risk
No matter how well you plan, some things always escape our attention. Therefore, you must be prepared for a few mistakes that might cost you extra time and money. For example, you decided to change a module according to the focus group’s suggestions, and that took the project a few weeks back, costing extra labor hours. Or, you underestimated how many employees you needed to run the project, and now you have to add to your development team.
- Thorough planning and budgeting
It is always wise to leave a margin in your eLearning development budget. This way you won’t be forced to sacrifice quality or, even worse, cut the development process short. Therefore, try your best to plan all necessary resources before the project takes off, and remember to account for updates, upgrades, extra hires, or any other extraordinary expense.
With Great Risk Comes Great Reward…
It’s often daunting to get into a business such as eLearning because the risks are often high. However, if you play your cards right, this can be a very profitable venture. The eLearning development risks we described in this article might be a reality for professionals in the industry, but with careful planning, they overcome them every day and manage to achieve their goals. You can accomplish it too by doing your due diligence before launching and establishing a few test rounds.
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