What does engaging elearning really mean?

I know this sounds silly and I should probably know, but I've been seeing some conflicting information on what "engagement" means in courseware.

I'm a former ILT professional so I know what engagement looks like in a classroom. Is there an agreed upon definition for engagement? or how is it measured and identified? I have some talented folks on my team and this isn't our first rodeo, but we aren't even sure what it looks like.

6 Replies
David Anderson

Awesome replies and great question.

Engaging is one of those terms that means different things to different people. For me, it mostly comes down to: Is the learner "thinking"? If the stories, activities or interactions I'm designing help the learner  think or reflect in a way that's meaningful, then I'd consider them engaging.

Great topic

Nancy Woinoski

The term has become a catch all phrase in the industry so I can understand why you might need some clarification. When my clients ask me to make a course engaging  I ask them what they  mean. My definition is that the course interests and challenges people enough that they are mentally present  - not just going through the motions.

Jeff Kortenbosch

Good topic indeed. Engaging to me means relevant and challenging. It does not mean, creating all sorts of interaction for the sake of interactivity. Honestly. I could do an hour long  with basic slides containing text and flat images if the content is relevant. As long as it addresses my need.

Interactions should only be added with purpose to enhance the experience and help the person absorb what they're trying to learn.