What are tables used for in e-learning?

A table is a box divided into rows and columns, and is used to display data. Tables can contain text, multimedia, videos, and information about just about anything. They typically contain information such as comparisons, product lists, statistics, etc.

Tables are often used in e-learning because they present information in a way that is visually organized and easy to understand.

Storyline lets you quickly and easily build a table using shapes and text boxes. Here's a few examples of some table designs I created in Storyline:

Why should you add interactivity to your tables?

E-learning designers are always looking for ways to get past the boring click-and-read courses to intrigue their learners, and one simple way of doing this is by adding interactivity to your courses. Since tables are often used in e-learning, it makes sense to take the opportunity to jazz them up and add some hover details or pop-up information to add visual interest.

Additionally, sometimes you need to present more data than you can comfortably fit onto one slide, and in these cases, the interactive element can be a way to include more text that is only displayed when there is a click or hover action.

Tip 1: Highlight the Rows or Columns

One way to add some interactivity to a basic table layout is to create a unique hover state for either the rows or the columns. There are really endless options for how you could do this, but a few easy ideas include making the selected row or column a different color or slightly longer or larger than the others. You might also place an arrow in front of the row or at the top of the column, as a call-out to indicate to the user where they are looking. The more complicated and data-driven your table is, the more you need to highlight rows and columns to make it easier on the eye for your learner. 

Tip 2: Create Pop-Ups for Hovering

Another idea for adding interactivity to your tables is to create either a pop-up or a clickable area over top of some of the cells. This way, you can store even more information into your table, but that isn't visible unless the user clicks or hovers to find out more. Remember that in e-learning, it's important to keep your slides clutter free and the text content to a minimum, so this can be a great way to avoid information overload in your tables.

Adding interactivity to your tables is actually really easy, and a great way to add some visual interest and a fun touch to your next e-learning design!

If you're interested in downloading a free Storyline template of a table with interactive columns that I've created, you can view the published version here and download the file here.

Want to try something you learned here, but don't have Articulate software? Download a free trialand come back to E-learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. You can also follow us on Twitter. If you have any comments, please share them below.

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