From increasing your speed to train to reducing your costs, online training has plenty of benefits. Passive learning experiences make people switch off. To maximize your impact, you need to keep it engaging. So, how can you avoid the typical click-through slides learning experience and get your people interacting? Here’s our guide to making the most of your interactive elearning software.
What is interactive online learning?
At its simplest, an interaction is an action which has an impact. When it comes to effective interactive online learning, it’s not just about clicking to reveal information. Rather than simply reading text or watching a video, you need to get learners reflecting on what they’ve seen or putting what they’ve learnt into practice. There isn’t one right way to deliver content. But by using a well-chosen and arranged combination of interactions you can produce learning with impact.
Why make it interactive?
Research continues to confirm that putting people in control and taking an active approach leads to long-lasting, meaningful learning. It’s clear that, if your online training is going to be effective, you need to get people interacting. But just using your interactive elearning software to add lots of clicks isn’t the answer. It has to be the right interactions at the right points. A few theories should impact your choice of interactions:
- Active learning studies demonstrate that understanding and information recall increases when people learn by doing. Learn more in this recent study here.
- The interest curve shows how pacing is key to combating short attention spans and keeping hold of people’s interest. Find out more here.
- Flow theory highlights that when people are “in the flow,” their concentration increases. More info on this here.
Designing interactions that get people using their knowledge and trying out their skills is key. Pacing these interactions will engage learners and keep their concentration high. This reduces learner drop off, maximizes knowledge retention and leads to a bigger business impact.
What is interactive elearning software?
Online training can be something as simple a word document guide. But if you’re going to make it an active learning experience, you need interactive elearning software. Authoring tools – like Adobe Captivate, Articulate 360 or Elucidat to name just a few – enable you to create interactive learning content. Ready-made templates mean that you don’t need to be an experienced instructional designer to produce highly visual and interactive elearning with this software.
Find out more in our interactive elearning software blog
How can you use interactive elearning software effectively?
In a classroom, facilitators ask questions, start small group discussions and lead activities. Moving this interactivity online can take many forms. Whether it’s a ready-to-use template or a customization, with interactive elearning software it’s easy to make engaging web-based content.
Here are four examples of mobile friendly interactive content that will maximize the impact of your online training.
4 examples of interactions with impact
From drag and drop to filling in the blanks, authoring tools have lots of question interactions. Don’t just save these for an end of your course assessment. Start with a question to find out what they already know. Challenge their preconceptions. Get them reflecting on how they approach things. Use questions to pace your interactive online learning. Follow up after you’ve provided key content with a quick question to check their knowledge. Questions are a great way to get and keep people engaged throughout your training content.
2. Content personalization
One size doesn’t fit all. There’s nothing more likely to lose someone’s attention than telling them something that they already know or that’s irrelevant to them. That’s where content personalization comes in. Adding reflective questions or knowledge checks allows you to give your people what they’ve asked for, or have shown that they need. This type of interaction allows you to adapt the content or level of challenge to the person. If someone says they’re not confident or has given wrong answers, get them to explore additional information. If they’re confident or have shown that they know what they’re doing, they can move to the advanced content.
3. Branching content
In real life, your choices lead to different outcomes. Elearning courses shouldn’t be any different. Use your interactive elearning software to create real time, immersive simulations. Remember the ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ books of your childhood? Branching interactions can be used in a similar way – and be just as fun! Make a decision and see how it plays out. Putting the learner centre stage keeps them engaged. Seeing the impact of choices – both good and bad – makes the learning more memorable.
4. Social polling
Interactive online learning may put the learner in control, but you can lose that sense of being part of a wider community. Using social polling lets your learners know that they’re not alone. They answer a question and then see how their response compares to their colleagues. You can use this in a number of ways. Reveal common misconceptions, which other learners might share. Highlight that there isn’t always one right way of doing things. See how confident your learner is feeling and reassure them that others feel the same way. Show how their opinion has changed now they’ve completed the learning and how this compares to others. Unexpected social polling results are a great way to help shift opinions and encourage reflection.
Want to see some examples of these interactions? Check out our showcase of courses created with Elucidat.
Interactivity reduces learner drop off and maximizes knowledge retention. Ultimately, this leads to a bigger business impact. If you’re going to maximize this impact, your interactions need to be well-chosen and paced. Whether you’re working with an authoring tool (like Adobe Captivate, Articulate 360 or Elucidat) or a Learning Management System (LMS), you’ll have a wide range of ready-to-use interactions at your fingertips.
There isn’t one right way to create interactive content. But it’s key you focus on getting people to use their knowledge and try out their skills. Use questions to check knowledge. Create a personalized route through the content. Immerse people in a simulation and let them see the impact of their choices. Show them how their responses compare to their colleagues. Well-chosen and paced interactions keep your people learning, developing and engaged.
Want to try out one of try out some of these interactions yourself? Book a demo of Elucidat to get started with a free trial.