Gone are the days when students used to be content only by sitting through the hours of boring lectures. With the traditional form of classroom-study slowly fading away in the oblivion as not only students but teachers and faculties are finding learning platforms to be effective when it comes to imparting the knowledge. But not every online course you find is highly sought-after, as the content, as well as the teaching methods, also depend on the effectiveness of the course. For example, static courses, although hosted by several eLearning platforms, are not popular among students. The reason being, these types of courses are not successful when it comes to withholding the attention of learners for a prolonged duration.
The Basics of Creating an eLearning Course Lecture
So what should you do if you aim to create interactive online courses? Well, for starters, you should take care of the basics, such as:
Setting Training Goals and Objectives for your eLearning Course
These set of goals and objectives don’t refer to the objectives you state at the beginning of the presentation. Rather these goals and objectives mean the results you are expected to see after the learners complete your course.
Selecting Your Target Audience for Selling the Courses
The content and the interactivity level of your courses will heavily depend on who your target audience is. You can start by chalking out questions like the age group of their learners, whether they are students or professionals and also their demographics.
Way to Deliver the Course
After you have figured out the answers of the above questions, now comes the most crucial part, which is how are you planning to impart knowledge via your interactive eLearning courses. The easiest, as well as the most effective way to deliver your course, is via LMS or a Learning Management System. Its user-friendly interface and a ton of advanced features will take the burden off your shoulders.
Tools to Design Your eLearning Course Modules
At times, only using an LMS platform is not sufficient, and you will have to make the most of a hand tool to create multiple course modules easily. If you want to create interactive courses with quizzes and gamification features, you would have to take the assistance of authoring software, which is nothing but a set of useful tools.
After you have figured it all out, you need to sort out the tasks of SMEs and stakeholders. Then you have accomplished all the necessary tasks, and you need to follow this article to create interactive eLearning courses.
The Need for Making eLearning Courses Interactive
Before understanding the absolute need for interaction in your eLearning courses, you need to understand what is meant by ‘interactive learning’. Whenever learning gives rise to two-way communication, each affecting the other, we call it an interactive learning process.
An example of an interactive eLearning course would be where after teaching a specific course, an instructor says something like ‘raise your hand if you have doubts’. Below are some of the reasons why interactivity is the prime component of eLearning courses:
To Enhance Concentration of Online Learners
Although the lack of concentration of learners is not fatal, it is responsible for wasting numerous resources and leads to the overall failure of the training program. Regardless of the subject matter of your online course, well-arranged interactions work perfectly, but that does not mean you are expected to add bells and whistles at the end of every course module.
To Maintain the Flow of a Topic
To increase the probability that your learners will be with you throughout the course, you need to find a perfect balance between the complexities of the tasks and the abilities of your learners. Because, if the tasks are too easy, the learners would not feel challenged. However, if it’s the other way round, they would feel frustrated after not being able to solve the tasks. If you keep the right balance, the learners will keep up with the engagement.
To Deal with Shorter Attention Spans
We, humans, tend to suffer from this common problem which causes us to lose concentration from the lectures, unknowingly. There exists a learning curve in the gaming industry to represent a gamer’s attention level while he/she is playing, and you can use the learning curve for your benefit as well.
The learning curve is divided into four components having equal importance in a sling up the attention spans of learners:
It is when the learners are most attentive and therefore you can ask them to deliver their inputs at this time, that is just after starting the session. It is also the best time to run any PR campaigns.
The last part was pretty easy compared to this, because it is in this stage that the attention of learners starts drifting away. To make it engaging, you can give a 360 degree image to state the curriculum or a video tour to state the learning objectives.
- D & F
It is at this part, that things start getting heavy so don’t put anything complex here unless you want to wear off your learners.
As you can see, this is the point where most learners have started becoming inattentive, so bring them back to the game by engaging with them.
If you manage to chalk out this graph correctly, then you would find a bunch of engaged and active learners crawling up to your eLearning platform now and then!
How to Make Interactive eLearning Courses: A Guide
Contrary to popular belief, creating online course interactions is not complicated as it seems to be. Take a look at these following elements and see which of these seems to be appropriate for your course modules, and then you would be able to drive up learners in your eLearning website within no time.
Create a Story to Enhance your eLearning Course
You would have to add in a bit of storytelling, but it would not involve any particular storytelling. Or in other words, you would have to make the most of digital storytelling. Digital storytelling is now one of the best creative learning approaches adopted by big eLearning platforms because it places learners as the topmost priority. In digital storytelling, learners are the one to make decisions about various aspects of the course, from the subject matter to how the course will unfold. As this particular technique is excellent at evoking emotions, you would be able to earn your learners’ loyalty. Examples of eLearning courses depicting digital storytelling would be the training programs where during onboarding of new hires, existing employees’ work lives are being used as content. This way, you would put the right expectations of various tasks giving a human face to it.
Emphasize on Visual Experience
What is the USP of your course in terms of visual content? Or in other words, why do you expect learners to fall in love with your set of courses right after they hop on your eLearning platform? If you are having trouble finding answers to this simple question, then you will have to go out of your way to design a visual experience for your learners. You can think about 360-degree images and even videos, as it takes interactivity to a different level altogether. Often learners feel the need to take control of their learning environment, and you can enable this by applying immersive learning experiences like 360-degree videos. For example, when conducting an online course for new hires of an organization, you can host 360-degree videos via virtual tours of the actual locations they are supposed to work. Also, if you aim to implement virtual reality in your eLearning courses in the future, the best way is to start by designing these images and videos.
Set Learning Goals for All eLearning Modules
Often mistaken as the easiest to deal with while making eLearning interactions, you should note a few things while setting learning goals and objectives for your course.
The goals should be specific and should mean the performance expected from learners after completion of the course. For example, if your course focuses on offering product training to your sales force, what are the things you want them to learn? Should the course highlight on tutoring about the basic features of the product or should it go beyond and explain the working mechanism as well? Once you have worked on it and figured it out, then you should check for any traces of ambiguity in your learning goals, because then it can be misunderstood by some. Also, your course content, assignments must go hand-in-hand with your learning objectives. Because unless and until your learning objectives and goals are clear and to the point, your learners would not be able to relate fully with your offerings.
Add Interactions to your eLearning Content
Making your eLearning course interactive does not require you to invest in chunks of money. You can begin by trying out exploration screens which will enable the learners to explore around your platform easily and freely and discovering interesting stuff by clicking on funky buttons and tabs. However, you can also encourage students to work out a few exercises whether they could create, drag and drop various items and be creative.
If you want a human touch to guide your students, solve their queries and offer them numerous tricks and tips about a topic, make sure to launch in an avatar. It will start by introducing itself, and learners will feel calm and relaxed about the entire process.
Let Learners Interact: Forums, Quizzers, etc
To generate greater course satisfaction, you should encourage learner-learner interaction. Social interaction plays a significant role in how people learn, and eLearning is not an exception to this. Studies say that when you encourage learners to interact with their peers, it results in high course satisfaction and greater learning. This is mostly because most of us tend to perform better when we are part of a group and not working as a one-person army. This way, students can feel more motivated and competitive as well to beat the other learners, which will immensely help them in their growth.
To implement this, you should design a learners community in your eCommerce platform itself, where students can form groups to share ideas, thoughts and even solve problems. To keep the community active, post exciting stuff which is trending and ask the learners to share their thoughts regarding it.
Engage More with Video Conversations while Creating an Online Course
An eLearning lecture where only slides are being unfolded one after another would not be able to capture the attention of learners. Instead, if you can add audio and video along with your slides, it will serve as significant assets to support the texts of the slides. Adding video conversation in courses is not complicated at all, you will have to record some voice-overs with the help of course editing tools, and then it is good to compliment the texts of the slides. If you are confident about your videos, then you launch a few modules without slides as well, because often learners feel stressed to read complex texts on the screen for a longer duration.
Add Gamification to Your eLearning Courses
In a recent survey, it has been found that about 83% of the employees who take up gamification training sessions feel motivated. Games allow students to assimilate their learnings and solve problems in a fun way. Combining the best of eLearning and gamification is a common thing these days because it makes learning a fun and exciting experience. Nowadays numerous course creation tools allow the users to create various games by letting them access to colourful pre-built templates equipped with a ton of gaming features.
Assign Reference Readings and Course Works
To stimulate advanced learning of your students, you should assign them weekly assignments and encourage them to sit for quizzes which will help you to understand the concepts they have grasped correctly. Plus, these assignments and quizzes tend to help your learners retain their information for longer durations. Also, learners would be able to check their performance and work on it to improve themselves.
Roundup: The Future of Interactive Courses
Now that you know the things needed to create interactive eLearning courses, be sure to implement them because it is super-easy and you would be able to accomplish it perfectly with the help of the right tools.