For both education and business, e-learning has become an ideal solution to training, knowledge sharing and evolution in general. What was once comprised of physical presence in courses and long seminars is now just a process involving a few clicks. Both employees in companies and children in schools can benefit from e-learning, but there is one problem - how to make it engaging?
Online education is an ambitious undertaking, but a lot of experts are slightly extremist on the subject of automation. They want AI to replace all human interaction with learners, similar to what we're seeing in the eCommerce industry. However, for e-learning to affect an employee or student satisfaction, you need to make it interactive and engaging throughout the process.
To maximize your resources and training programs, you need to "scatter" interactive elements throughout the learners' journey and keep them attentive as they learn. We will cover several approaches to making learning and exercising into interactive activities.
Learn from existing templates
When you're developing an e-learning system, there are a lot of options for customization and setting your own parameters. Even though this opportunity for creation is enticing, but it's equally easy to forget that it's easy to find templates in existing e-learning solutions, to reduce overall workload.
The best way to find templates ideal for your vision is to explore some courses in your particular niche, mainly on Udemy and Coursera.
Analyze every lesson, test and assessment and write down the elements that come across as useful or interesting to you. For example, here are several elements that enable interactive learning, that you can see in many popular courses:
- Presentations. In addition to frequently used books and other learning materials, presentations of the most important aspects of a lesson can strengthen the interactions and engagement of your e-learning experience. The learners will realize you've put in effort into dissecting particular terms and facets.
- Popular culture references. This element of popular culture is relatively underrated, mostly because e-learning program creators and developers are too hesitant to target a niche. Create training exercises and test knowledge simply by using mentions of popular culture elements. With this approach, you can enhance the learners' memory using interactive tools.
- Animations. Educational animation is already used in the education of people with special needs. While it has been proven that videos and animated sequences are memorized more easily, they are still sparingly used in e-learning. Equipping training programs with animations will make them shorter, easier to explain and more applicable in real education and training solutions.
Drawing inspiration from templates is also the easiest way of establishing a quality platform. All you have to do is follow the latest courses and educational solutions. A good idea would also be to follow the visiting count of top courses and informational websites. See what works for others and apply the same principle, with your own twist.
Originality is developed using a good basis, plus some additional details. Trick questions are one prominent solution. Their development is essential in establishing an interactive feeling.
Introduce unexpected elements
Learning involves three distinct stages - presentation, summation and testing. Professional trainees and students alike all expect to invest minimal effort while acquiring information. Afterwards, the predictable route is to implement a series of summarized key points that will provide the role of "memory markers."
For example, if the course is about digital marketing, students will expect bolded keywords and a glossary of key terms at the end of the lesson.
Don't give them what they want - give them what they need. Establish an effective approach that will urge people to think. If your system of lessons involved testing at the end (which it should, for overall course effectiveness), here are some ways you can create an interactive lesson part:
- Instead of questions at the end, give them a repetitive quality both through content and through small quizzes after the most important part of a single unit. Immediate application of acquired knowledge is the best way to stimulate the human mind and enhance your e-learning platform.
- Make them oriented towards free expressions. Urging students and trainees to memorize single bits of data makes any e-learning program much less effective. Why exactly? The so-called storytelling method relates to sharing knowledge using stories and instructing students to reenact that storyline.
- Test knowledge using real problems and situations. Imagine you're taking a graphic design course and that you're in the middle of a lesson involving rules about logo creation. Instead of regurgitating bits of theory relating rules, you find it easier to locate examples of what you studied about. This is a method that doesn't make your lesson attractive - instead, it makes them applicable in the real world.
- Add trick questions to the mix. Make the program interesting and challenging, which will increase student engagement. Dilemmas, unclear instructions and other elements can provoke thinking and increase cognitive effort and overall student input.
- Build the next lesson on the previous section. When you're developing e-learning software for classrooms, the key is to show students that they cannot expect a non-linear progression. Branching out your lessons is important, but they have to lean on another. This will include questions and references to previous sections and key facts. This approach signifies that the program is designed to challenge and solidify necessary knowledge.
Work training software is an excellent example of interactive e-learning. One reason for this is the extent of communication options, mostly in relations to the developer or the training supervisor.
This approach to interactivity accomplishes much more than preparing an employee for his or her future tasks. The crux of interactive e-learning is allowing the educator to address any possible problems and more extensive learning options.
The first layer of communication in interactive courses is letting users communicate with one another. Every lesson or test question can be accompanied by a separate discussion board. The role of these boards is to help users address individual problems without having to manually search for a solution.
Comment systems are also great for the teacher/instructor, as they can respond to questions immediately, with the answers being publicly available to everyone who is interested. In this aspect of interactivity, we are nearing the concept of user support, which is the pillar of a positive customer experience.
Prevent and mitigate
Another way to make an e-learning curriculum more interactive is a well-thought-out FAQ section. This in-advance provision of information prepares the user for any possible problems and expands on some known issues. Also, each course and program you create have to include 24/7-available support via email, chatbot and live chat, if needed.
Sarah Davis, an online courses expert says, "If the developed platform is split into multiple parts, you can also arrange face-to-face performance review consultations. Employees, students, people who suffer from anxiety, and users in general will be able to receive real-time assessments, be it from a professional essay writer or another expert."
Communication as an interactive element is still underdeveloped because of a lack of tools that can support all the intended communication channels. Let's take a look at the importance of tools and their possible application in the e-learning universe.
Using tools to bridge the gap
One reason why educational institutions and businesses opt for e-learning is customization. For institutions operating within a niche, it's important to not just effectively analyze patterns, but also to create interactive solutions that will speed the learning process up.
It's not enough to show the student that your content is educational - you also have to make it easy enough for re-learning, as well.
To make the transition much smoother, you should use tools and apply them towards your advantage. One notable example of tool use is frequently applied in various courses and programs relating to expression, creation and analysis. We're talking about writing and proofreading tools.
Children around the world know how to choose the best essay writing service, mostly because they're getting an objective evaluation of their particular work. e-Learning becomes interactive once this tool brings the learner closer towards the end goal. In this situation, thinking "Who can write my essay" is the need.
Contact is when the app is used and the learner uses the aid of a third party. The normal learning process is accelerated and valuable time is saved. The fulfillment is complete.
Not all tools are learning aids, however. There are also custom website editing tools that don't necessarily affect the learning itself but exists as an alternative option for particular people. Visual enhancement is also a part of the learning experience and it's important to expand your niche of learners by including custom options.
Assembling a system which accommodates itself towards individuals is the future of e-learning and the only pathway to a larger group memorizing a single set of information. While not making the experience necessarily easier, tools give the platform a less rigid, personal touch.
Devotion to each learner
Even if you manage to think of a new interface, you have to realize that wide application of a single solution isn't possible. No matter how effective an e-learning solution is, not everyone is going to like enough to become a staple of the learning experience.
And even those who like the format are going to be skeptical because of the uniformity of design and functionality. To address this problem, it's essential that you develop a culture of personalization.
Firstly, personalizing the learning experience shows the learner that you care. Everyone is different, no matter the equality of interest in the same subject. Here's how personalization influences the e-learning process:
- Interactive elements give everyone the same starting position. A good example would be a qualification test to examine the level of knowledge from every learner. Using the right software, you can use the test to develop custom tests and learning rhythms that can help everyone maximize what they already have.
- Decrease learning speed. When using interactive elements, the goal is to decrease the time devoted to each lesson, but also establishing a linear increase in time needed as lessons are getting more complex. The platform user can merely brush up on existing knowledge while reserving the most energy to knowledge that was considered previously unknown.
- Rewarding the invested effort. Another way to engage the user with interactive elements is to focus on the positive. Accomplishments, records and other feats are always meant to be displayed and focused on as a part of a motivational strategy. The more determine the learner is, the more they will be inclined to learn just by being motivated by their past success.
Due to a myriad of human preferences and choices, it's impossible to promote one platform as the ultimate choice. Interactive tools allow us to individually implement tweaks and changes to target specific groups. Creating a tailor-made experience is a move that improves customer experience and makes your software a premium learning solution.
Looking towards modern solutions
Another advantage of interactive e-learning elements is the ability to change your training program or course contents whenever you please.
When a new tool or solution are launched, they are free to be included in your existing concepts. It's not enough to make every lesson seem the same, despite the effort needed to develop a sustainable approach to e-learning.
You need to use 360-degree images and videos with a goal to make learning as realistic as possible. This gives out the illusion that the user is really there and they merely have to use their creativity to come across a solution.
Testimonial videos and tutorial videos are also important, as they establish verification, plus a starting premise that's it's okay not to know something. With better experience, your e-learning solutions will become more popular as they are true malleable tools that can make acquiring knowledge into a pleasant journey.
The benefits and methods of using interactive elements in e-learning solutions are plentiful. When it comes to the exact approach, this depends solely on you and your preferences in targeting your audiences. Make each program engaging and attractive to people with multiple levels of knowledge.
This is a guest post by Tiffany Harper. Tiffany is a talented writer from New York, an extremely active woman, and a real leader. She began her career as a journalist and later proceeded it as an educational writer and editor. Now she works as the subject matter expert with assignment help in Sydney, mostly in the educational area. Please do not hesitate to contact her on Twitter.