Many training tools and software promise an interactive element but fail to deliver. Though we’ve moved away from slide-by-slide PowerPoint presentations and know how to create interactive training modules, it’s time we step back and reflect on the meaning of interactive training and the learning opportunity it presents.
In a classroom setup, interaction happens between the trainer and the trainee. When we switch from classroom to digital mode, it’s not possible to replicate that interaction. However, you can recreate the sweet spot with interactive elements of authoring tools. An engaging, interactive training model drives the learners to retain information and overcome the forgetting curve. The underlying interactions are vital to creating an engaging learning experience that makes it easy to remember, recall, and apply.
Employees in the modern workforce and business speed may not always need a fancy interactive course to execute a task at hand. Training may not answer the needs of employees. Instructional designers and L&D must evaluate what exactly is required to address the knowledge or skills gap. It could be a simple job aid or cheat sheet that essentially supports the employees’ performance on the job. Hence, before deciding to create a course with interactive elements, it is wise to diagnose the gap and create a focused and purposeful content resource that employees may utilize better than a course.
For example, no interactive content would be useful to sales personnel unless they need concise information learning before a sales presentation. The information must be designed after a careful task analysis with the results clearly defined. Simultaneously, engaging, interactive courseware could be the need of the hour for practice and rehearsal. Hence, instructional designers need to be aware of the tradeoff while choosing interactive courses versus snappy resources.
Attention spans online are getting shorter. This can be a tricky obstacle to overcome with training content, which needs to be thorough and accurate. That’s where the benefits of interactive learning come in. Here are some of the key advantages:
Instead of taking your learners through static bodies of text and images, you can encourage them to become active participants in their learning experience. Using interactive elements like quizzes or gamification, you invite your learners to engage with the training content, and – when done right – they have fun.
Interactive elements like quizzes also encourage learners to revisit their newly acquired knowledge by answering follow-up questions. This repetition increases the chances that the knowledge gets stored in the learner’s long-term memory. Ultimately, it increases their chances of beating the forgetting curve.
It’s not enough to share training content. Learners need to know how to apply it in their everyday lives, especially in relevant workplace scenarios. But beyond including a written scenario for learners to ponder over, you could also include a text box, quiz, or activity for learners to respond to the scenario with. This challenges them to reflect on their newly acquired knowledge and understand its value.
Here are some examples of interactive learning to further illustrate the concept:
Many organizations, including news publications, have used immersive storytelling to educate online learners. A choose-your-own-adventure experience guides learners through a story but enables them to make choices as if they were a character.
Different choices lead to different outcomes and consequences, giving learners influence on their learning experience. This offers an interactive way to have learners apply their knowledge to a hypothetical situation and reflect on the impact of their decisions.
Many organizations have leveraged the power of a 360-degree video for learning. These are immersive videos that enable a viewer to experience a room or situation simply by turning around, 360 degrees. When it comes to e-learning, 360-degree videos are particularly useful for simulations.
For example, if you wanted to show pilot trainees the cockpit without having to get on board an aircraft, you could create an immersive video experience. They could walk around the “cockpit” instead of simply reading about it, encouraging them to participate in their learning experience.
So, how do you go about creating interactive training? In our view, it all starts with choosing the right authoring tool. While every organization has unique learning goals, we recommend a tool that makes it easy to add various content elements to make your training interactive in different ways.
Easygenerator, for example, is the authoring solution built for subject matter experts. That means anyone in your organization can use the tool to create engaging, interactive training content, even without a background in instructional design.
We’ll walk you through some examples of interactive learning activities you can incorporate into your e-learning:
Add videos and audio to your courses – this is something you can do in our tool, Easygenerator. By providing your key learning content in a video, you can increase its impact. Using audio can also help explain complex topics in a more accessible format. Your employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read a text.
You can use hotspots to both share and test knowledge. Hotspot content allows you to add more information that learners can access by hovering over highlighted areas of an image. This is perfect for teaching employees how to use software or any subject where your learner needs to identify something visually. A hotspot question also tests your learners on identifying the location of something on an image. For example, a geographic area. It is an effective way of adding relevance to your e-learning.
Not all assessments are created equal. Some are certainly more effective at testing your employees than others. It can depend on what you’re trying to teach. We created a helpful overview of the assessments available in Easygenerator and the situations to which they’re best suited.
This clever block allows you to embed interactive elements from third parties. For example, surveys from Google forms, collaboration tools from Padlet, or gamified quizzes from Quizlet. If you can get the embed code, you can add it to your course. You can watch our training session here to learn more about this feature.