The Biggest Fears and Nightmares of eLearning Designers
It’s Halloween time, a time for all things spooky and scary. If you are an eLearning designer, you have horror stories of your own. Yes, our jobs as designers are not easy. Don’t get us wrong; we love the challenges that each new project brings. But we still get a sinking feeling in the pit of the stomach when we have to face our worst fears and nightmares, which are the following:
Nightmare: The Know-It-All Client
They are demanding, but they don’t know what they want in the course or have not yet made up their minds. We have all met and worked with such clients. Here’s how to tackle them without losing them:
- Give them the control they desire.
- Show them respect.
- Give in to their whims and fancies.
- Go with a smile on your face.
Nightmare: The Endless Rounds of Revision
The nightmare begins with a “but.”: The client loves everything you have designed. He sends you an email with glowing praises (I loved your work …) and then drops the bomb (but …).
Nightmare: Squeezing Out Relevant Information from the SMEs
• Understand learner needs and be clear about the learning outcomes.
• Clarify to the SME the exact nature of the information you seek from him.
• Gently guide SME home with your questions.
Fear: My Design Is Not Engaging Enough
Keep in mind the golden rule of creating engaging and meaningful courses: Step into the shoes of your learners and empathize with their needs before you design solutions. Get back to the basics and appeal to the learners’ emotions.
Fear: Deadlines and the No-Time-to-Do Everything Situation
Whatever you create, make sure that it is the most effective solution. Create a short and simple but effective course instead of a long and complex one that tries to achieve too much and stumbles at the starting line.
Fear: Coming Up with Novel Design Solutions
Be resilient. Be fearless. Remember that the greatest designs have gone through several iterations and revision before they became what they are now. So be prepared to stumble and fall. The greatest eLearning designers have one quality in common: they can push and plod through failure.
This Halloween, confront your biggest eLearning design fears and nightmares and overcome them. You love your work, and nothing can make you trade places with someone who has an easier job. But make your job more enjoyable by working on your fears till they melt away.