How do I know if an eLearning site is good?

Here are some basic questions to ask yourself about any eLearning language website:

  • Do I actually enjoy my time here, or is it just a series of hoops to jump through?
  • Is there enough variety as I move from course to course and section to section?
  • Does the site use video as well as text?
  • Is the presentation of new language clear? Is there a meaningful context, helpful examples and good explanations?
  • Do the quizzes revise and recycle the key language that I want to learn?
  • Are the quizzes at the right level to challenge me?

Here is what we believe a good eLearning site should do:

  • Invite you in to click around freely and look at some sample material. Put no log-in barriers in your way. If the site has great content, then the owners should be proud of it and want you to see it easily and quickly. You can give them your email later, after you have seen what is on offer.

And here are some warning signs that a site is not very good. Please beware the following:

  • Free trial‘. But you have to give your credit card details first. The trick is this: after the trial period they want you to keep your subscription even though you stop using the site. You become a ‘good intentions’ user. You say: “I have good intentions. My subscription proves it. Tomorrow I will do some eLearning”. The business runs on the subscriptions of inactive users. Great work, guys.
  • Your rapid progress shows you are doing great‘. But you are never asked to use the language actively, and in reality you soon forget it. The trick is this: you make progress by getting high marks on easy quizzes. But most of what you learn is quickly forgotten and the progress is false.

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