E-learning is an extremely powerful medium to convey your organizational training compared to traditional classroom methods. But in the absence of a teacher or instructor to interact with learners, how does it ensure that employees remain engaged and interested in the subject matter? E-learning does this by using various interactive techniques.
Interactivities in e-learning can be defined as the communication between learners and the course, through which they become involved in the learning process. Interactivity is a key instructional design element that adds great value to your e-learning course. At its core, interactivity requires an action/reaction from learners for them to proceed with the course. It can be something a that makes a learner act (such as a click-on activity) or makes him think (a formative assessment).
Adding interactive elements in your e-courses makes learners active participants in the learning process, rather than being passive spectators. It ensures that the attention of learners does not wander. This results in better knowledge transfer and retention, thus increasing the impact of your training. Let’s see some common tips to design an interactive e-learning module:
1. Give Room for Exploration
In order to make your e-learning course interactive, one of the most basic things you need to do is open up your course navigation. Adult learners are highly independent and smart individuals who will definitely resent if you make the flow of your e-learning course unidirectional.
Instead, give your employees complete control over your course. This way, they can navigate to whichever section they feel like, resulting in a heightened interest in the subject matter. To further advance this spirit of exploration, you can also include ample ‘nice to know’ information throughout the course and leave it up to the learners to explore it.
2. Allow Interaction with Scenarios
Constructing relatable scenarios around your subject matter is one of the most effective ways of engaging your learners. Build scenarios with characters and storylines that create a relatable learning environment for your employees. Scenarios involve employees on a personal level as they can easily see themselves in that situation, taking decisions, and experiencing consequences. This method breaks down the subject by showing them firsthand how the knowledge acquired is applied in the outside world.
3. Engage with Games/Gamification
Using games is one of the most interactive methods of learning. Your subject matter in this case is embedded in a fully playable game. This is one of the few methods that involves complete learner engagement, as your employee has to continuously interact with the gaming interface. This causes superior knowledge transfer and can be used to convey topics such as compliance polices or ERP training.
If your budget doesn’t permit developing a complete game, then gamification is a cheaper, yet highly impactful option. With this, you can integrate gaming elements such as scores, leaderboards, progress bars, etc., in your general content. Using such methods appeals to the basic human nature of competition and results in better learning.
4. Create Social Interactions
Why limit interactions just between the learner and your e-learning course? Using the power of Internet and a centralized Learning Management System, you can open up avenues for peer-based interactivities. You can develop chat rooms, discussion forums, or even social media integration to provide a centralized platform for your employees to discuss their learning, doubts, and curiosities. Integrating social learning with your digital program fills a large gap of human interaction among your learners, resulting in a more practical transfer of knowledge.
5. Don’t Leave Out Assessments
Quizzes and tests give learners an opportunity to gauge their progress and summarize the content they have learned. It also allows learning managers and developers to assess the effectiveness of their e-learning course. Make assessments interactive by including real issues that learners must solve using their newly acquired knowledge. Create tests with interactive media elements such as video clips, sound bites, and more. Most current generation authoring tools offer in-built assessment options.
Using interactivity in your e-learning program can assure that your course stands the test of time and doesn’t become too mundane for newer generations of learners. Pick the best possible authoring tool that can create the interactivities that match your learning needs and watch your course soar through the skies.