What makes eLearning different from classroom training – live webinars or synchronous training? I would say interactivities! One of the reasons eLearning is different is because it is self-directed – learners have to engage with the course on their own. There are no external stimuli. So, whatever stimuli need to be provided it has to be inbuilt into the course. That is where interactivities come into the picture. Interactivities enable learners to interact and engage with the course as active participants.
In this blog, I would like to share 13 interactivities that work wonderfully in eLearning courses.
1. Click and Learn: With this interactivity, learners can simply click and get relevant information about any particular topic. For this purpose, we use presentation patterns like Click on Tabs, images and numbers in eLearning courses. We can also use icons as presentation patterns to provide more information. Sound and videos can also be included to engage the learners.
2. Slide show: Slide show is a great way to provide step-by-step information in a sequential order. This is explaining a process/history using textual and visual information.
3. Hot spots: Hotspots are beneficial for layered content that is not more than a single sentence. For example, it can be used when you want to provide more information about a particular area of the machine/equipment. Hotspots are clickable.
4. Rollovers: Rollovers can also be used for a layered content that is not more than a single sentence. The learner hovers the mouse over a particular area of image (as of the machine/equipment) to get more information.
5. Simulations: Simulations are best used for software applications and for operating machines. Simulations can be of three different types. They are Watch, Try and Do. In the Watch activity complete demonstration is shown to the learner and in the Try activity, learners are allowed to try the same activity with the help of hints. And finally in the Do activity, learners have to complete the activity on their own with the knowledge gained from the Watch and Try simulations.
- Watch – TheWatch activity provides just the demonstration of particular application/ machine.
- Try – In the Try activity, learners enter the variables and view the results. When the learner makes a wrong move, hints are provided to help the learner with the correct method.
- Do – In the Do activity, learners have to complete the activity on their own to get the desired results.
6. Flashcards: Normally flashcards are designed to recall the information. One side has a question and the other side has the answer to that question. So the learner flips and learns.
7. Games: Games are a great way to engage and motivate learners. It will provide quick feedback to learners on their learning and the extent to which they have achieved their learning goals.
8. Drag and Drop: Drag and Drops are mostly designed for assessments to test learners’ knowledge. Learners have to drag and drop the answer at the correct location and this makes the assessment more challenging.
9. Match the following: Match the following questions are designed for assessments to test learners’ understanding of related concepts. Learners can easily get confused with terms that provide similar meaning. Providing questions together with their answers for learners to match the correct answer adds variety to the eLearning course.
10. Single and multiple choices: These are the basic forms to test learners’ knowledge. In a single choice question format, leaners can select only one response from the list of responses and in multiple choice format, learners can select any number of responses (one or more than one).
11. Arrange the steps: Mostly this type of interactivities is used to identify the steps of a process and to get learners arrange them in a sequential order to measure their understanding of a process or procedure. Example, troubleshooting a process, safety procedure, etc.
12. Fill in the blanks: Fill in the blanks questions consist of a sentence or a paragraph with a single or many blank fields. Learners are required to enter the answer in the blank field.
13. Drop down: Learners require selecting the correct choice from the list of choices provided from the drop-down list.
All these interactivities can be used in your courses where you feel they are appropriate. It is not necessary and advisable to use all the interactivities in a course. Based on the course content and the learning demands, the appropriate activity can be chosen. A good learning design professional will be in a position to judge the suitability of an interactivity of the course. Don’t you think so?