Until a few years ago, online training required the student to complete the course rather passively without any interaction: therefore, there was no room to clarify doubts, interact or share opinions.
Today, however, interactivity is the basis of good eLearning design. In fact, it is now well established that, when the audience has the feeling of actively participating in the training, its motivation and involvement immediately increase, with important repercussions on the educational level as well.
But how to make a course interactive? To answer this question, here is an overview of the main interactive content to include in an eLearning course.
1. Interactive videos
In this type of interaction, the learner is shown a video that pauses at predetermined intervals to reveal additional information or ask questions in order to test the user's knowledge.
2. Animated infographics
Make the diagrams and infographics in your course interactive. How? For example, you can make the data appear progressively only after a user action (a click, an answer to a question, etc.). This will allow you to convey your content in a fun and visually appealing way.
3. Pop-up Quizzes
In most cases, quizzes are administered at the end of the course. However, to encourage student engagement, it is best to administer them during the training as well, such as through a series of pop-up questions.
4. Role-playing games
The objective of role-playing games is to recreate, in a realistic and enjoyable setting, a professional situation in which the user must play a specific role. For example, in sales training, students can role-play themselves as salespeople to learn how to handle customer questions and objections.
5. Branching scenarios
A course with branched scenarios, includes "decision points," i.e., moments when the student is asked to make a decision that will alter the course.
This type of interaction therefore has the great advantage of offering each student a unique and engaging learning path. But that's not all: branching scenarios allow faculty to assess their students' analytical skills and decision-making processes.
The easiest way to apply branching scenarios is to send students who give wrong answers to pages containing more information about the topic covered in the quiz or, conversely, to send those who answer correctly to the next level.
Dialogues allow you to simulate a real-world conversation. Good dialogue simulations tend to use branching scenarios in which every decision made by a user has consequences that affect the results and subsequent stages of the simulation.
7. AR and VR Simulations
Virtual reality and augmented reality are new and effective ways to give students a real-life experience in which to test their skills. The great advantage of AR and VR simulations within an eLearning course is the ability to create a safe but realistic environment in which learners can practice the skills learned during the course without the fear of making mistakes.
For example, they can be used both to simulate human interactions (e.g., with customers) and to conduct hands-on training on the use of specific equipment or emergency management.
8. Interactive exercises
Abandoning the classic multiple-choice quizzes in favor of interactive exercises is a great way to increase student participation. Here are a few examples:
- Classifying and Sorting - This type of exercise allows you to create an exercise in which you ask students to sort the objects depicted on the screen according to a specific criterion. For example, it can be used to walk through the steps of assembling a particular piece of machinery or to sort items into categories.
- Drag-and-drop - "Drag-and-drop" exercises, on the other hand, can be used to ask students to move items to a specific area of the screen. For example, in sales training, you can create a virtual storefront and ask your students to set it up by placing products according to a specific marketing objective.
- Fill in the blanks - A very easy exercise to do is to provide the student with sentences that they must complete by choosing the correct answer. In this case, you can provide a list of possible answers to choose from, or you can leave the space blank and let the student fill it in freely.
9. Chat, forums and discussion groups
Community tools encourage student interaction and offer immediate support when they need it.
For example, you can provide your students with a qualified tutor who offers technical and educational support via chat, ensuring that they never feel alone and abandoned. That they feel followed and assisted at all times. But that's not all: you can integrate forums and social groups to stimulate online interaction and ensure that students can communicate and collaborate with each other.
The use of chatbots in eLearning is a growing trend. Chatbots enable instant, relevant, and automatic interaction with course users.
Using a chatbot within an LMS platform means being able to give immediate answers to students' questions. But that's not all. A chatbot also allows you to ask questions and analyze the responses received from students. You can then use it to determine the training needs of your students, to recommend the most suitable courses for their specific needs or to help them review the content learned during the course.
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