One of the constant challenges we have as e-learning developers is to transform passive text content into something that’s fun and engaging for the learner. It is our mission to find ways to add various types of multimedia that invite learners to interact with the content and maintain a certain level of control over their learning experience.

As with most things, doing this is a balancing act: interactions that simply add a few clicks to your course do not add any value! The key is to craft meaningful activities that bring learning value and have a clearly articulated instructional purpose.

Let me show you an example that I’m sure you’ve encountered before: a big long slide filled with text bullets.

View Before Slides

It doesn’t look bad and the information is correct, but my colleague’s slide has way too much text, too many bullets, and requires no engagement on behalf of the learner. Recognizing this, my colleague asked for tips on how to turn this into an interaction. After discussing the main types of interactions (drag-and-drop, hover-to-reveal, click-and-reveal), we decided to go with a simple mouse-over interaction that displays the information bit by bit. Here’s the end result:

View After Slides | Download Template

As I mentioned, you should always be able to clearly articulate why an interaction is worthwhile. In this case, I’ll take you through how we improved the content by turning it into a hover-and-reveal interaction.

Bite-Size Chunks

Presenting large paragraphs of text all at once will likely overwhelm the learner. By creating this interaction, we broke the content into smaller, more digestible chunks, and presented each one individually. Both actions make it easier for the learner to focus on just the information being presented at the time.

Condensed Information

Before, we had too much content to show all at once, so we had to deliver it over multiple slides. By turning this into a hover-and-reveal interaction, the content is delivered in bite-size chunks that fit on one slide. Streamlined content helps learners see right away what’s important, without having to dig into the info to decode it.

Learner Control

In the first example, the text dumped all the info on the learner at the same time. They really had no control over the order or amount of content coming at them. With the hover-and-reveal interaction, learners can interact with the screen to reveal the information at their own pace and in their preferred order. This gives learners more control of the learning experience.

This is just one of the many ways you can transform a static interaction into dynamic, engaging content. If you enjoyed this interaction, you can download the free template for Storyline 2 right here. Stay tuned over the next few weeks because I will convert this same interaction into a click-and-reveal and a drag-and-drop to show how varied the possibilities are for even one single piece of content.

Do you have any ideas on presenting this type of content? If so, let me know in the comments!

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Tove Luther
Brian Balk
Paul Schafer
Peter Brown