5 Reasons Why e Learning Fails, and How to Combat them

by Anand Tiwary March 19, 2021

The advantages of online learning are many and varied. However, the path is not strewn with only rose petals. There are a few thorns that might prick you along the way. But with a little thought and time, these thorns can be picked out.

Here are the five main reasons why online learning fails, followed by ways to overcome these failures.

Problem 1: Missing the Big Picture

Thinking long-term is of course essential. But some companies make the mistake of not thinking enough about the bigger picture. Ask yourself this simple question: what are the broader implications of my long-term goals?

That is not to encourage abstract thought about the many possible results of following your chosen strategy. Instead, you will do well to focus on the smaller goals, and how they can complement each other. This in turn will create a path for your strategy.

Some companies do not understand how a particular kind of content can help their employees up-skill themselves. This is one of the main factors that aggravates this particular problem.

The Solution

Don’t forsake the details. Instead, put them in clearer perspective. That way you can define your training goals much better.

Does your chosen training module have some components which you feel are not necessary for your company? What you can do in this case is look at that component closely, and ask yourself, does this help me to achieve my long-term goal? If the answer is no, do away with it. This will de-clutter your training program and make it more effective.

Don’t worry, you are not alone in this path. There are many simple project management software that will help you to stay focused. Use these tools to formulate better training strategies.

Problem 2: Not Setting Goals in Time

A man who has a clearly set goal will reach his destination faster than a man who is not clear about his destination at the start of his journey. The former will avoid all distractions along the way and focus only on his aim. But the latter will meander and waste time in determining his objective.

The same holds true for online learning. Many companies invest in expensive training modules without a clearly defined end in sight. This leads to loss of money, time and energy. The entire training course falls flat on its face.

The Solution

To put it in the simplest terms, think before you act. In fact, well before you act. The initial phases of development is the perfect time to ideate about your course objectives. Before you think about what kind of content you want to create for your employees, spend time to think about your main aim. What do you want your course to achieve? Even choosing the content will be easier once you set your goal in clear sight.

Again, you don’t have to tread alone to solve this problem. There are many kinds of project management software which are easy to handle. These make the process of defining goals smooth. Also, your employees will get a good idea of where they will be after completing the course.

Problem 3: Failure to Know Your Learners

It goes without saying that your target demographic will determine your content. Many companies don’t make the effort to understand their learners, which makes any training module ineffective. This is why many online courses are still deficient in flexibility.

The Solution

It is not possible or necessary to focus on the needs of every learner, but the learners must be understood as a group. Special care should also be taken to understand what kind of a learning environment they are in.

Problem 4: Communication Gap

Developing a training module is not done in isolation. The process involves the team developing the training course, the client and the learners for whom the project is intended. If there is no clarity of communication among these three sectors, the training project will not stand much chance for success.

The Solution

Clear communication must be ensured from the inception of the project, till its end. Consider having a core team or at least one member at the developing end who will deal solely with communicating with the client. The clients at their end must also ensure in-depth communication with their employees.

Problem 5: Strategy Development

If the instructional strategy is not clearly enunciated at the very beginning of the development stage, it will make for an ineffective training module. Then all the aims of the course strategy will not be met.

The Solution

You must realize that a sound instructional strategy is the cornerstone of an effective training module. Keep innovating yourself and your courses, so that they ensure learner engagement.


Online training modules make life easy, but developing them is not always a piece of cake. Be careful while embarking on this journey.

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