A recent ebook from the eLearning Guild, 68 Tips for Elearning Engagement and Interactivity, brings together some of the top training industry experts and compiles their advice in one comprehensive guide. Here are three highlights of the advice you can find in the ebook and that you can apply to your own eLearning programs.
1. Focus on the Learner
One of the biggest mistakes made when developing training materials is disregarding the end learner of the material. Trainers, executives, and content developers tend to write and create e-learning content that they feel is pertinent to the topic at hand. Instead, it is imperative that content developers take a step back and realize the human factor of the e-Learning course. It’s hard to lose sight of this since the creator of the content is not standing in front of the trainee or might never have a conversation with the trainee.
When creating content, always ensure that the information you are providing is the information that the training attendee is seeking. If the trainee doesn’t find value in the information that you are sharing, then your e-Learning is not engaging them and is not teaching them, so you are not achieving your training goal. Role play by creating a conversation, where you are the trainer and the trainee in the situation. Then, use this experience to write the content in a relevant, yet conversational tone.
2. Appeal to the Learner’s Curiosity
By nature, people are curious creatures. When a topic interests them, they tend to seek out answers to their questions and resources for finding additional information on the topic. Even in an instance where attendees are required to attend an e-Learning course, you can still play off the curiosity factor in humans.
Rather than simply present the topic or solutions you are trying to teach attendees, use ways to build curiosity throughout the creation of the e-learning course. Reverse the order of presentation so you present a problem or issue the attendee is facing up front. Then follow-up with the solution or solutions to the problem or issue. Often times, attendees see their own problems and issues in the examples you present so it intrigues them enough to follow along to find out how to resolve the problem. Not only does this approach engage the learner, but it also propels them to participate, so the course becomes much more interactive.
3. Interactivity Does Not Equal Engagement
Throwing in some games and activities in your e-Learning course does not automatically create interactivity and engage learners. When you read your favorite book and watched your favorite movie, you didn’t have games or activities engaging your attention. Something else drew you in to keep reading the book or to keep watching the screen.
When you are creating interactive games or activities, use these three guidelines.
- Create scenarios that immerse learners in the experience.
- Get the learner thinking. Posing a question to the learner might be the key to sparking them to think.
- Appeal to their emotions. Emotional stories, examples or images can engage and draw in learners to participate.
When you use these tips, you can expertly create interactive and engaging e-learning content. It can make the difference between effective and ineffective e-Learning courses.