8 Tips to develop an interactive e-Learning strategy
It is paradoxical that many educators and parents still differentiate between a time for learning and a time for play without seeing the vital connection between them. - Leo Buscaglia.
Means of learning today has taken quite a spin from the traditional classroom attendance to following a course online without ever having to leave the comfort of your home. And the thanks should go to ever-evolving technologies and daily advancements in the world of digital media.
Interactive e-Learning makes e-Learning more interesting and enjoyable for the students and keeps them engaged with the course, which may otherwise become boring for having no connection with the tutors or other students. Interactive e-Learning is a better fit for educating Millennials who are otherwise known as Generation Z (kids born between 1990’s to early 2010) born with the ability to process information faster, savvy with technologies and spend most of their time on a computer or smartphone. Gen Z forms the majority of the global population today, and interactive e-Learning can help them connect and reach out to other students, keeping them engaged in the course while maintaining the human-to-human connection alive.
According to the new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, more than one in three American workers today are Millennials, and in 2015 they surpassed the Generation X to become the largest share of the American workforce.
Interactive e-Learning is becoming popular day by day. Many universities and educational institutes are offering various online courses across the globe. By allowing interaction in your e-Learning experience, you are guaranteed that followers will stay on course, engaged with the study topics without falling out of boredom. Interaction will simply bring together students from different parts of the world to form an international community. Plus it will let them learn from others by sharing their own ideas, experiences, mistakes and achievements.
So let’s look at few useful tips to creating strategies to provide an interactive e-Learning Experience.
1. Make interaction possible and easy
Even though the users are following your course remotely from their computer at home, keeping the human-to-human connection is vital for an efficient interactive e-Learning experience. Enable social interaction between course followers and content creators of your online course using forums, chat rooms, discussion groups. Sharing ideas and collaborative problem solving will not only allow your learners to share their knowledge among others but also enable them to listen to others and respect other’s opinions and ideas.
2. Keep the interest flowing
Gen Z kids are fast thinkers. “Blink, laugh, share, forget”, a phrase invented at The Future Laboratory to summarize them. The best way to describe this is through the phenomenon of Snapchat. A Gen Z’er receives an image, laughs, cries, screams (delete as appropriate) and then it’s gone forever within 10 seconds. Research shows that Gen Z has an 8-second attention span. Keeping this in mind and the fact that there are more Gen Z’ers in the world population now, the e-Learning course creators must make efforts to maintain the learner’s attention on the subject areas using attractive visual aids, gamification and narrating small stories using audio visuals etc.
3. Beware of too little Content and too much of Confetti
Sure, an e-Learning Experience should be attractive and entice learners to follow the course. However, there is a fine line you mustn’t cross, so all that glamor will take away the learners’ primary focus. If the aesthetic designs or even the interaction tools overpower the course content and the knowledge it contains, the learners may find it difficult to grasp the very essence of what you are trying to teach them. Finding the right balance between content and the creatives is the key to success.
4. Emotional Engagement
Apply the simple principle of human behavior in your learning solution. Every module should promote the “Think before action” technique to ensure that students use their reasoning skills to arrive at best solutions to any problem they will attempt to solve. Simply have a structure. A random assortment of facts can be very dull, but interest levels increase rapidly once you put them into a logical, coherent structure. Use of interactive videos, visual storytelling and even gamification can get them think on their feet and improve their reflexes.
5. Hold the Mirror
When you are following a somewhat of a lengthy course, be it online or offline, sometimes it’s good to pause and reflect on what you have been doing for a while. Likewise, at the end of each of course module, ask a question or two such as: What do you think about...? or How do you think you can improve...? to get them thinking about the subject areas and allowing them to internalize the course knowledge and interpret it in their own way.
6. Make the navigation easy
Moving from module to module shouldn’t be a dreadful task. Navigating from the current module to a past module or a future module should be at the tip of the finger. Make it easy to find each module and have them available one-click-away, perhaps using an index on the screen. Make it user friendly by allowing the students to skip ahead introduction videos when they want to refer to a specific area/point during revise sessions and get quicker access to certain subject area/s.
7. Cater to all learning styles
“One learning style fits all” is a thing of the past. My learning style can be different from yours. While some users prefer learning through pictures, images and spatial understanding, some may learn through the words, sounds and music. Incorporate visual and audio aids wisely or better yet offer the same module in multiple learning styles where learners can choose their preferred study method and enjoy the learning experience more.
8. Test out the Knowledge
What better way to check if you have achieved the goals of your e-Learning program than putting the learners through a test? Yes, to measure the successfulness of your online Education program, conduct tests and exams. Get them thinking and exercising their brains to apply the knowledge from the course to solve real life problems/issues. To engage their minds, provide case studies and ask how they would solve the issues. Such as, how they will address an issue if they were a manager of XYZ company facing ABC issue at this time?
While these are some of the main points you should consider, there are many other factors you should look at when creating an interactive e-Learning strategy. There is a multitude of learning styles, technologies and audio-visual aids which you can incorporate into your online e-Learning offering and keep in mind that it is crucial to take time, plan and pick the most effective and efficient ones for your audience to make your e-Learning course a success.
Created: July 21st, 2016