- Interactivity boosts engagement & consolidates learning
- Tailor e-learning to focus on desired outcomes
- Place interactivity appropriately for maximum impact
Interactivity. It’s a word that we’re supposed to immediately associate with futuristic endeavours, positivity and fun. At PAULEY, we truly believe in the value of making e-learning as interactive as possible. But what does the word ‘interactivity’ really mean? And why should your company make use of it?
Chances are, your workplace currently implements some kind of e-learning – three-quarters of all businesses are said to do so. And so they should. Once created, it’s a manageable, sustainable and low-cost way to boost skills and deliver business-specific training.
But we think that e-learning can – and should – offer much more than a series of computerised tick boxes on workplace health and safety: an exercise which will have bored most of us to tears at some point, and what most commonly comes to mind when we talk of e-learning. But include interactivity and the experience can be so much more.
We love interactivity
By taking a linear, passive presentation of information – often paper-based policies – and converting it into something more interactive, engagement shoots up. Interactive e-learning:
- Encourages a personalised, more relevant experience for the user
- Leads to increased focus on the content by making users stop and think
- Puts users in control of their training, increasing levels of participation
- Does not require the presence of a trainer and is available 24/7
- Records responses to ensure that concepts have been understood
- Gathers user feedback as a catalyst for improving your e-learning offer
Interactions can be as simple as filling in text fields, or as complex as responsive animations, 3D simulations, and scenario-based branching logic, which lead the user into a journey dependent upon their responses.
How to do interactivity…
Most importantly, you need to look at what kind of interaction you want to get from your users. Would it be most beneficial for them to reflect on the content, react to it, or to make decisions?
Depending on the purpose of the e-learning, interactivity can be vital: for testing competencies and monitoring performance – such as health and safety or engineering knowledge – gathering responses is often a legal requirement.
Motivation – above and beyond the user ‘having’ to complete the e-learning module – is another important factor to get right. Our last blog, for example, looked at how ‘gamification’ can be used to drive motivation and enhance learning.
Lastly, always remember there’s a fine line between software that’s simple enough to be useful and that which is complex enough to be relevant.
And how not to do it
A common misconception is that interactivity in e-learning tools has to be an elaborate, high-tech add-on. But it’s the quality of the experience that counts, not the flash-bang-whizz of some shiny, new-age kit or sophisticated visuals. It is creativity and originality of ideas that are most important.
Always keep the desired outcome in mind. It’s important to choose a platform at the start of your e-learning project. Whether it’s delivered on smartphones, tablets, computers or all three, don’t assume that software designed for a laptop will necessarily work on an iPad.
And only use interactivity when appropriate. Too many requests for interaction – especially when the user feels it to be unnecessary – may actually become distracting.
Find out more
It has been suggested that just 25% interactive learning time as part of CPD (Continuing Professional Development) can change the overall focus from passive teaching to active learning. Interactive e-learning is proven to increase efficiency, engage and motivate staff, and from a budget perspective, offers a fast and measurable return on investment.
Interested in interactive e-learning for your business? Get in touch and we’d be happy to chat.