Most e-learning designers agree that interactivity helps increase learner engagement. But interactivity is about more than just clicks—it’s about engaging your learners both physically and mentally. In this article, we’ll talk about the two levels of interactivity and how to incorporate them into your courses.
Level 1: Physical Interaction
Using interactions is a great way to stop pushing information onto your learners and start giving them the opportunity to explore the content on their own. This not only encourages them to get curious, it also gives them the freedom to move forward at their own pace.
The most common way to get learners to interact with your course physically is to have them click, hover, drag, scroll, or swipe. Thankfully, these kinds of interactions are super easy to build with the authoring apps in Articulate 360.
Getting your learners to interact with the course physically is a great first step toward putting them in the game instead of on the sidelines. But it’s possible to interact with a course physically without engaging mentally. If you want your interactivity to have a meaningful impact on learning outcomes, you’ll need to take it a step further.
Level 2: Mental Interaction
So how do you get learners to interact with your course mentally, and not just physically? Adding only physical interactivity to generic content can feel like busywork, leading learners to mentally check out. To get your learners to switch on their brains, you need to help them understand why they should care about your content.
Here are a few ideas you can try:
- Frame your message in a way that speaks to learners. For example, you could call out a difficult situation they’ve likely encountered and explain how your content will help them handle it better in the future. See one way to do this before the course even starts in this Rise 360 example for people who’ve been newly diagnosed with food allergies.
- Give learners opportunities to reflect. Ask open-ended questions about their past experiences or hypothetical situations. Check out the Living with Food Allergies lesson of this Rise 360 course to see how powerful this technique can be.
- Include decision-making scenarios that challenge them to apply what they’ve learned in a realistic context, like in this Rise 360 course on upselling or this Storyline 360 customer service scenario.
Of course, these are just a few examples that encourage mental interaction. There are tons of other ways to go about it, so don’t be afraid to get creative! Just remember to focus on making your content compelling and relevant and on highlighting real-life applications and you’ll be on the right track.
The Bottom Line
With user-friendly authoring apps like the ones in Articulate 360, adding interactivity is easy. The harder part is ensuring your interactions actually add value. Think about creating interactivity that engages a learner’s mind—and not just their mouse.
To learn more about transforming static content into something more interactive, check out these helpful resources:
- What Does Interactive E-Learning Look Like?
- 3 Things to Consider Before You Add Interactivity
- Create Interactive Videos with These Storyline 360 Features
- How I Turned This Boring Content into a Fun Drag-and-Drop
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