Going Hybrid? Avoid These 4 Content Development Mistakes

Content Development Mistakes
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    Looking for the rulebook to hybrid content development? Stop looking now, because believe us, there isn’t one. While the newness of hybrid work presents a challenge for course developers, it also gives us an unprecedented amount of freedom when it comes to making content that captures the learner’s imagination and assists users on their knowledge acquisition journey.

    Before you begin developing hybrid content, it’s important to know about some of the most common course development pitfalls. Read on to discover the four things to avoid when making hybrid content, why these mistakes leave learners unengaged, and how to move forward in the right direction when beginning your design process.

    The Balancing Act of Learning Engagement 

    Information Overload: While it would be great to retain everything we learn, we’re only human. According to a study conducted in the UK, the energy supply to the brain is finite and can’t exceed a certain limit, regardless of how challenging the task is. As a content developer, you need to be aware of your learner’s limits. Common mistake content developers make is cramming in as much information as possible into a module. 

    • When creating a module, consider including small chunks of information as opposed to long, intimidating texts. 
    • Break down facts, figures, and concepts into bullet points or short paragraphs, to encourage the learner to take in every piece of information. 
    • Highlight and reiterate the main themes of your course to remind learners of what’s most important. 

    More isn’t always better. By only including important information and avoiding lengthy blocks of text, learners will feel more inclined to engage with the material and avoid feeling overwhelmed. 

    Unclear Goals: Have you ever been taking a course and caught yourself thinking “why am I here?”. This is an all too common experience, but content developers have the power to change it. When creating content, all learners must be aware of the course’s objectives. By introducing goals and expectations for your hybrid-learning course, you’ll help learners gain a sense of purpose. 

    • Set a concise schedule for hybrid learners and clarify what is intended throughout the training. 
    • At the beginning of a new module, provide a recap of past concepts and illustrate how they’ll connect to new ones. 

    Let’s not forget that personalization is highly effective. While the course developer should create goals for their learners, it’s also important for learners to make their own goals. At the beginning of your course, encourage hybrid learners to write down what they want to gain from the course and how they hope to change. At the end of the course, remind learners to look back at their original goals and see if they achieved them. 

    Successful Course Developers Look To Their Learners

    Not Knowing Your Learner: If we don’t know our learners, we can’t help them succeed. Before starting a course design, take time to understand why your target audience is interested in the course and what they hope to gain from it.  

    • Figure out what tone you want to set for your learners. If your course content is intended to build a sense of community between hybrid-remote works, try making content more personal, light-hearted, and fun. 
    • If your course is intended to train hybrid workers in important new technological practices, you can still personalize content and bring a sense of fun to the course by including anecdotes and interesting facts.


    Forcing Connection: Fake smiles don’t get us anywhere. While a human connection is highly important for our emotional and physical wellbeing, nobody likes to be forced into an empty interaction. Learners want and deserve meaningful connections when navigating their hybrid-work schedule. So what makes a connection meaningful? Applied Developmental Psychologist Deborah Heiser describes it as follows: 

    Don’t force learners to connect if it isn’t coming naturally to them. Instead, give them the option to share and explore their goals and interests on their own time.  

    Hybrid-Work and Learning Engagement Tips

    What You Can Do Moving Forward:  Now that you know to establish the purpose and goals of your content, you are in a great position to start your process. Here are some of the best ways you can foster meaningful connection between learners: 

    • Work collaboratively: Blogs and forums allow hybrid learners and workers to collaborate on their own time, regardless of where they are. 
    • Prepare activities: Not all hybrid-remote content has to be virtual. Consider including movement-based, hands-on activities into your course to exercise all the learner’s senses. 
    • Develop self-assessment tools: While it’s important to give your learners feedback, encouraging them to reflect on their work will give them a sense of autonomy and help them take charge of their learning process. 

    Great Hybrid Learning Engagement is Flexible

    Hybrid-remote learning and working is still uncharted territory for most of us, but that doesn’t mean we can’t make the most of it right from the start. By allowing hybrid learners to connect, learn, and collaborate on their own time, you’ll keep them invested in your course and eager to continue. 

    How have you overcome mistakes in the past? What advice would you give content developers looking to create engaging hybrid-learning courses? At WeLearn, we’d love to hear what you have to say because together, we learn.

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