The 6 common mistakes when creating your online course


You want to offer your employees quality online course but you don’t have much experience or time. You’d like to increase the completion rate because you see that motivation is faltering and your students often fail to complete the courses. If you are in one of these situations, perhaps you’re making one of these mistakes.

1- Your course is not very visual

We find it easier to write than to represent concepts with images. Video involves time and production costs. That’s why our courses usually contain an excess of text and lack visual resources, to say nothing of multimedia. But the fact is that students don’t read, they scan. Images attract their attention, videos capture them. However, be careful with the quality and length of the videos and of the images you include, not just anything will do.

How to solve this problem?

  • Make use of infographics. They are a perfect mix of text and image, they allow a great amount of content and they are very easy to use.
  • Add as many images as you can, and use them well. 
  • When you have your content ready to be virtualized, think about the option of transforming some part of it into video. Especially more complex concepts, which require explanation and examples. Your students will thank you for it. In this article we show you how to use video in e-learning.

2. Your course is too theoretical

Course texts are often too theoretical. Why? We mistakenly believe that by making concepts more abstract they will be better understood, because they are more generic, but it’s not true. Interpreting an abstract concept is harder than understanding an example and then applying it in our day-to-day work. Besides, we lose sight of what our students have understood, since abstraction gives rise to multiple interpretations.

On the other hand, we tend to use a purely informative style, which is usually boring. We tell things as they are, stodgily and leadenly, when we could use a much more interesting narrative thread.

How to solve this problem?

  • Use storytelling. Can help you immensely with your presentations. Not only does it provide a common theme, it also allows you to emotionally connect with your audience. For example, if you are recounting the history of your company, it’s much better to do so using its founder’s biography, his/her concerns, difficulties and interests, than to simply list the key milestones related to the years in which they occurred.
  • Add examples and cases. examples help to ground the content and focus it on a practical point of view. With examples, your students will immediately see the usefulness of what you’re telling them and they’ll be able to practice it from the word go. Why do we insist on avoiding them?
  • Include questions for reflection. sometimes, after a theoretical concept, or before beginning another, it’s good to stop and think. Why am I telling you this? Why do you need to know it? Are you really clear on this message? They are questions that connect with the usefulness of the content and with your student’s mind.

3- Your course is not interactive enough

Interactivity helps the content to have a greater impact on the students and, therefore, it reinforces learning. It makes it possible to change the student’s passive function, becoming an actor instead of a recipient. It makes them active participants. It seems ideal, right? Adding interactivity in an online course is easy and fast. So, why don’t we do it?

How to solve this problem?

We’ve published a wonderful article about 14 types of interactive content that will make your online courses addictive. Don’t miss it. In any case, here’s a short summary:

  • Add resources that require the student to click, but always where there’s a reason to do so. Abusing interactivity is counterproductive, it makes the courses monotonous and boring, as well as excessively demanding. Some resources you can add are cards (which show the content when turned over), hot images or images with points of interest, carousels of elements or related images.
  • Make good use of interactive activities. We explain how in this article. When is it best to include interactive activities? We tell you about it in this other article.
  • Add gamification. It’s a trend, and a very good idea to attract, motivate and challenge your students. At isEazy Author we have a game based on Trivial Pursuit, a letter wheel like The Alphabet Game, a card game that will pleasantly surprise your students and our last addition, our Memory game. 

4- Your course is too long

You think you need to tell all, but you forget it’s impossible for a student to retain all that knowledge by simply reading it on a screen. We often think all the information is necessary, but it’s not. 

How to solve this problem?

  • When you have all your content ready to view, review it and summarize. Don’t say in three words what you can say in two. If you can say it through images, better still.
  • Divide your course into smaller modules and limit how long they last. Remember that we’re all weighed down by a lack of time. Don’t torture your students with the impression that your course will never end. Divide that macro-course into small portions, which will be much easier to digest and much more focused on specific topics. Nowadays, it’s a mistake to create courses lasting longer than an hour. Remember that microlearning is the trend.
  • Reserve for your course the key information or messages, and leave the rest as an attachment for looking up. You’ll still be offering all the information, but rather than forcing the student to learn it all at that point, you’ll give him/her tools to look it up when he/she needs it.  

5- Your course can’t be viewed on a mobile

We forget that mobiles are becoming the main tool for looking up and consuming content. Why wouldn’t that also go for our online courses? Our students want the content to be available from anywhere and at any time, to be able to look it up when they need it, and not having to depend on a computer to do so. 

How to solve this problem?

6- Your course does not meet your students’ needs

There is nothing more frustrating than receiving negative satisfaction questionnaires, in which the students state that the course is not useful for them. Why does this happen? Often, people in training departments are not in close contact with our students’ reality, their practical concerns, their day-to-day work. Knowing these needs will help us to focus the content much better so that it’s truly practical and useful. 

How to solve this issue?

Ask your audience. Before creating a course, launch a questionnaire to the target audience asking what they specifically need to learn about that topic, what they feel they’re lacking. In this way, the content you develop will be of great interest for your students and will increase the completion rate.

Sara De la Torre


Sara De la Torre

Content Marketing Manager at isEazy

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