How To Create Compelling Interactions
Interactivity is not just a fun element you add to your eLearning courses to make them more appealing. It is much more than that; it is the essence of the connection between your audience and the content of your eLearning course. It is, in fact, the ultimate way to ensure that your learners stay engaged in their eLearning experience. Unless you are an extremely talented author and you expect your learners to be carried away with your writing and learn by simply reading the information you have provided, you need to give them reasons to interact with the eLearning material. Why? Because call to action turns passive mode off. And you certainly don’t want your learners to be passive; on the contrary, you want them attentive, engaged, and emotionally connected. You should, therefore, try to find ways for making the interactive eLearning experiences you create as compelling as possible in order to keep your audience interested.
But how you can be sure that you are creating interactions that are compelling enough to keep your learners interested and active? In this article, I’ll share 5 great tips on how to create compelling interactions that will help your learners retain knowledge by exploring and interacting with your eLearning content in the most exciting and engaging way.
- Ask your learners to make choices.
Asking your audience to make decisions and choices doesn’t only help them interact with the online content; it offers them the chance to stop, reflect, and think about the eLearning material. Needless to say, the more closely connected to the real world is the framework for decision making, the more interested will be your learners to make the right choice, and the more value the interaction will add to your eLearning course. Consider creating stories using text, images, or videos, that reflect real life situations and asking your learners to select from multiple options in order to make decisions for the main characters. Based on their selection, provide answers that don’t simply state “correct” or “false”, but rather explain why the choices were right or wrong. This way, you will give your learners ownership for their decisions, while at the same time you will offer them relevant, constructive feedback.
- Create an eLearning character.
Using a character will help not only your learners feel more connected with the online content, especially if we’re talking about a well-designed avatar, but also you guide them through the eLearning course. Your audience can click on the character to ask questions, move it around to perform certain tasks such as provide them with information, or even customize its appearance; this last one doesn’t do much for their learning per se, but it certainly enhances the whole eLearning experience, as the more appealing is the character to your learners the deeper gets the connection between them. The eLearning character should have a name, an occupation, and a voice. Take the time and develop it carefully; eLearning characters, when designed properly, can be used for the most entertaining and compelling interactions!
- Use eLearning scenarios.
eLearning scenarios are a fantastic way to create compelling interactions and they don’t need to be complex to do so. For example, branching scenarios not only help learners understand that their decisions have the ability to make a difference and that their choices carry weight, but also offer them the opportunity to learn from their mistakes. Just remember to not be carried away; keep most branches limited up to 3 choices. In addition, eLearning scenario questions have a great benefit; they allow you to determine where and why your learners are making mistakes in the real world. This is particularly useful for corporate training, where your audience needs to know exactly how what they are learning can be out to use.
- Encourage your audience to explore.
People love to explore, and your learners may not enjoy their eLearning experience to the fullest when presented with a linear eLearning approach that guides them through every single step. Unlock the navigation of your eLearning course and let your audience move around, click on items to find out what they are there for, discover hidden sub-menus, and learn by exploring a welcoming environment. Let them have control over their eLearning experience and discover new knowledge at their own pace; this is often described as letting them “pull the information” rather than expecting you to “push” it to them. Unlocking navigation shouldn’t make you nervous; when learners are given the opportunity to explore and discover knowledge in a natural, intuitive way, they become much more engaged than when they feel “trapped” in a strictly structured environment.
- Use eLearning games.
Finally, you can create compelling interactions using eLearning games. The great thing about games is that you can design them exactly how you like as well as include as many multimedia or other learning elements you want. Add interactive videos, stories, assessments, everything that can turn an eLearning game into an immersive and interactive eLearning experience. Moreover, consider integrating a rewarding system or a meter showing learner performance compared to their competitors, who can be either the computer or their virtual classmates, as performance indicators not only challenge learners and keep them interested, but also help them understand how their performance affects their personal and professional success.
This post was first published on eLearning Industry.