When you design e-learning courses, one of the biggest challenges you’ll face is creating a learning environment where learners will be engaged. Learners are more engaged and successful in courses when they feel compelled to click, explore, and learn. So what makes course interactions more compelling to learners? Basically, anything that has them leaning forward in their seats, being mentally engaged.

Here are six ways to get your learner into this engaged state of being.

1. Create an Interactive Experience

To pull your learners into your course, create experiences in which they need to click on (or touch) the screen. Physically involving your learners in the experience is a key step in a compelling interaction. If they have to physically interact with the course, it’s hard to be passive.  

2. Let Your Learner Explore and Discover

Learners love to feel in control of the learning experience. When you create an interaction that drives your learners in a linear manner, you lessen the excitement. You’re simply asking them to click through screens of material. Instead, open up the navigation of the interaction. Let the learner freely explore at their own pace and leisure. This dynamic is often described as letting the learner “pull the information” rather than “pushing” it to them.

3. Allow Your Learner to Make Choices

A fantastic way to create a compelling interaction is to allow the learner to make decisions as they experience the material. For example, ask your learners to make a decision for the person presented in the interaction. When they’re tasked with making a choice (and as a result, moving the action along), they’ll be much more engaged with the learning experience.

4. Provide Feedback

After your learners make a choice, they should receive immediate feedback on their decisions. Think of this dynamic as challenge, choice, consequence. The learners are presented with a challenge and have to make a choice. As a result of that choice, they receive feedback that lets them know why their choice was correct or incorrect. This is a great learning opportunity!

5. Keep Your Content Relevant and Short

It’s hard to get excited about material that doesn’t mean anything to you. So the goal is to make the content real for the learner. Help them understand why this content is valuable and how it will benefit them. And keep it short. If you get verbose, the learner’s attention will wane.

6. Create a Fun Course

Most importantly, don’t be afraid of fun. People often deride entertaining learning as “edutainment,” but let’s be honest: Who gets excited about dry compliance courses where the content is locked down and you have to spend at least 45 minutes listening to the narrator before taking a quiz? Like it or not, adding “fun” into the mix is a great way to add to the compelling nature of the interaction. So don’t be afraid to use a little humor or a game-like approach to your interaction. Your learners will thank you!

Follow us on Twitter and come back to E-learning Heroes regularly for more helpful advice on everything related to e-learning. If you have any comments, please share them below.

Jessica Holland