We live in a time of rapid changes in education, where online learning is growing by the day and providing unprecedented access for students as well as unprecedented challenges for educators. In this article you will learn how to overcome the biggest eLearning challenges and daunting questions you might be asking yourself so you can meet students’ needs with ease and style. 

Table of Contents

How do I create effective online courses?

How do I track what my students progress?

How do I keep my students engaged?

How do my peers and stakeholders review my course before it’s published?

Will my course function on all students’ devices?

Challenge #1: How do I create effective online courses?

Where to start? If you’re a teacher or faculty member struggling to convert your classroom content into online courses, you’re not alone. Maybe you’ve never experienced online education for yourself, or your classroom lessons are highly interactive and you can’t yet conceptualize how they could be conducted effectively in a virtual setting. But don’t let lack of experience or lack of knowledge on the instructional design process scare you off! 

To solve this you will need the right tools for making eLearning courses! Select an authoring tool that’s easy to use so you can create courses fast, even with no prior experience. A great example of such a tool is iSpring Suite. With iSpring, you can build beautiful SCORM courses that include quizzes, screencasts, dialog simulations, and interactive modules in a matter of hours. 

 Challenge #2: How do I track what my students complete?

Emailing eLearning courses to your students and checking their assessments manually is not an sensible approach, let alone an easy task. Once your courses are created, you’ll need a system to handle students’ registration, course assignments, and monitor how your learners take courses – keep track of their progress, see completion details, and analyze assessment results. 

Collecting and processing this volume of learner data may seem daunting, but a learning management system (LMS) makes this a seamless process. Not only does it host your courses, it is also training tracking software. For example, iSpring Learn LMS allows you to track your students’ individual and collective progress, such as completion records, number of attempts on assessments, and time spent in the system. LMS reports eliminate all manual work involved in tracking learners’ completions and allow instructors and administrators to access the data they need with a single click. 

If you’re looking for a platform that fulfills your needs, check out this list of the best LMS solutions available in 2020, according to SoftwareWorld.

 Challenge #3:  How do I keep my students engaged?

Ask yourself honestly, are the students in your classroom always completely engaged? Do you ever notice them staring out the window, dozing off, or playing on their smartphones during class? You may have several techniques to re-engage them in your classroom, but how do you keep their attention and motivate them during online courses? 

Engaging students in eLearning can be accomplished in many ways. For example, the usage of videos to augment learning can be a solid technique, as demonstrated by the fact that people watch 22 billion videos every day, with almost 5 billion of those videos watched on YouTube.

Another approach is allowing students to choose their assignment options, which empowers them to take ownership of their learning process. For instance, if the topics in your course can be learned or completed in any order, create branching options in your online course so learners can pick the order they wish to complete the content in. 

You may also consider using gamification tools to further motivate your students. One common way that brings a game-like approach to learning is displaying leaderboards that show high achievers and top ranks among your learner population. Earning digital badges and seeing their name at the top of the list may motivate some learners to complete courses and aim for high scores. 

Challenge #4: How do my peers and stakeholders review my course before it’s published?

As educators, we are used to asking our peers to take a second look at our lesson plans, to help us flesh out new ideas and find gaps in our instruction. But how is this done with online courses? What if my peers or other stakeholders don’t have licenses to my authoring tool? 

The best authoring tools not only enable you to create online courses but also allow for peer review, even if the reviewers don’t have design licenses for the tool! The beauty of cloud-based review platforms is that they allow reviewers to annotate the exact spot they are critiquing, which eliminates confusing back-and-forth messages and emails between designers and reviewers as they try to describe content within the course. 

Challenge #5: Will my course function on all students’ devices?

According to Pew Research, 96% of US adults own smartphones versus 74% owning a laptop or PC. It’s essential that eLearning should not be limited to computers, since today’s students use a multitude of devices to complete their coursework. Learning is no longer confined to the four walls of a classroom, and can now happen anywhere, at any time. Schools and colleges must fulfill their learners’ needs by providing courses that are accessible, even on mobile devices. 

When choosing an authoring tool and an LMS, you need to ensure that they are not just mobile-friendly, but are truly mobile native. This allows your courses to function on any device without sacrificing any quality, content, or interactive features. No matter if your students use Mac or Windows, iOS or Android, tablets or laptops or PCs, you need to be confident that your course will function and provide a consistent user experience on all devices.

Online courses may seem to present many eLearning challenges, but a rock-solid authoring tool and LMS can address the difficulties educators face when transitioning to a digital environment.