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Top 8 Challenges Faced By Instructional Designers In eLearning

Instructional design is the method used to plan, produce, and deliver educational experiences and products. These educational materials include learning exercises, instructional videos, manuals, and online courses.

In its most basic form, an instructional designer is a builder of online learning programs that adhere to a set of learning goals. But creating instructional materials has its own set of obstacles that can hinder the instructional designer.

So let’s put ourselves in the position of instructional designers or instructional design companies and evaluate the main challenges they face in eLearning course development.

Creating engaging content

Making a course that will resonate with the learners is the first and most challenging obstacle that instructional designers must overcome. Admittedly, this is the foundation of the entire area of instructional design.

Remembering that your learners will need to interact with your content in various ways is the key to developing compelling eLearning content.

If learners want to receive your educational content via an online course rather than a book or video, you must give them a good reason for doing so.

Quizzes, online communities, and gamification are all effective engagement tools. Remember, learners need to feel engaged to return for more material.

Recognizing key concerns

Skills in analysis and information synthesis are crucial for instructional designers. It’s a component of their job to manage tons of information and figure out the best way to communicate it to the learners.

They must also maintain learners’ attention and interest. To do this, you must possess strong analytical skills and the ability to spot important concerns regarding difficult topics that are possibly too lengthy to be interesting.

Consider breaking the eLearning content into smaller segments to make it more flexible for learners and to help them focus better.

By doing so, you’ll retain learners’ attention on the important problems and prevent mental stress. These eLearning “bits” can also be used if you need to create a lengthier and more in-depth eLearning course eventually.

Design with a wide audience in mind

Cohorts of students from comparable backgrounds and age groups are usually seen in conventional classrooms. However, an online course will cover a lot more ground than that.

Although this diversity has the potential to be a tremendous asset, it can also make it more challenging for instructional designers to design a course that will appeal to all.

If you solely use images from one race, you risk alienating learners from different racial or ethnic groups. If you overuse generational jargon, you risk confusing older learners.

Therefore, in some scenarios, targeting a more specific audience might be better. By designing a specialty course, you may not get the same variety of customers but might attract a larger portion of your target market.

In other cases, however, you’ll need to figure out how to modify your course so that it can be taken by various learners, leaving no one behind.

Overload of information

The instructional designer should be able to tell the difference between material that is necessary to know and information that is good to know while creating eLearning courses. Extra care should be given to ensure you don’t leave out any crucial details.

Let’s use the cardiovascular system, a biology topic, as an illustration.

Here, the instructional designer cannot avoid mentioning crucial scientific words like systole and diastole because doing so would undermine the modules’ intended learning outcome.

By incorporating appropriate comments from the SME and engaging in some topical research, the instructional designer can close this gap.

Maintaining learners’ interest throughout the course

Holding the learners’ attention for an extended period is one of the main challenges encountered in training sessions, whether in a classroom or online.

Instructional designers cannot afford to make the courses lengthy and monotonous for the learners. The modern approach to instructional design strongly emphasizes how engaging and dynamic the module must be.

Therefore, to keep learners’ interest, instructional designers must find the ideal balance of multimedia material, interactive game mechanisms, and other components.

Project management.

It may be stressful to manage the eLearning project. After all, as an instructional designer, you must not only create a top-notch eLearning output but also deliver it on schedule and budget.

You must plan an efficient schedule allocation by keeping an eye on the most critical tasks, setting priorities, and precisely predicting production time if you want to solve instructional design challenges.

Then, it would help if you concentrated on creating effective communication among all parties involved, including subject-matter specialists, clients, and your eLearning staff.

Selecting an appropriate eLearning platform.

Your learning management system will significantly impact the new tools and techniques you can use.

Some LMSs adapt to new technologies more easily, but some are restricted to a proprietary platform that can hinder innovation.

How well you can manage some of these difficulties in the future may depend significantly on whether you select a hosted or cloud LMS.

Additionally, LMSs include a ton of options that you might want to use when creating your course. Therefore, choosing an appropriate eLearning platform becomes crucial.

Getting caught up in the trap of reusing the same methods

Even an accomplished instructional designer could fall into this deadly pitfall. An instructional designer should experiment with diverging from the traditional methods and procedures used in the process.

Creativity is a crucial skill for instructional designers. What sets instructional designers apart is their ability to think creatively and creatively visualize ideas.

For instance, some instructional designers frequently misuse particular animation techniques in eLearning, which only increases the file size and causes learners to become distracted when it is not necessary. This could disrupt the learning process’s speed and flow, ultimately leading to its failure.


These are a few common challenges in instructional design that an instructional designer can encounter. The job of an instructional designer has never been more exciting or busier.

The shift to online education has speeded up. The instructional design will undoubtedly evolve, seeing how quickly technology is developing. Consequently, an instructional designer must be fully aware of all the difficulties and stay current with new learning technologies and techniques.

Written by Marcus Richards

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