Interactivity & Engagement

There are many reasons why eLearning can be a very effective method of teaching compared to traditional ways. It is usually difficult to keep the attention of the audience no matter how interesting the subject matter is. People do not have long attention spans; hence an hour-long lecture will be trying for even the best of us.
In an eLearning environment, the opportunities for introducing interactivity into the lesson, and hence engaging your students, are many. Here’s a few ideas that you can use to involve your eLearning students and ensure maximum engagement in your lessons.

Introduce Challenges

In eLearning, you are often not communicating with your learners in real time – they may be studying a pre-recorded segment of a lecture in their own time or going through the developed courses by themselves – but you can still introduce challenges. These challenges can be in the form of a problem or even a puzzle or a riddle. The later forms can seem like a game to learners, but they will still be acquiring knowledge. Make the challenge reasonably difficult and let them arrive at the solution on their own. Challenges can be used in many areas of education, and they are effective because they engage and inspire learners to invest a certain amount of effort to find a solution.

Gamification for Interactivity

One of the most popular methods of increasing engagement is to introduce a game element into the session. This can be done by creating a scenario in which – for example – a learner is guided by an animated or digital character. Or you may want to develop a game based on an existing game but tailored to suit the subject. The possibilities are endless.
There are software packages available that can help you to introduce gamification in your eLearning courses. This is a very effective way for learners to log on and start achieving. If they know there’s a bit of entertainment involved, then they will be more inclined to invest their time and learn. Depending on the type of eLearning, these games can involve other learners in real time, adding the competitive element as well.

Get to the Point

Boredom is the main enemy of any type of learning. As we said above, attention span is not getting any longer, and any subject is at risk of becoming dull after a while. This is where eLearning has an advantage because, in most cases, learners do not need to sit through an hour-long lecture.
Instead, if you split the course into shorter segments – ideally five to ten minutes long – you will automatically enhance engagement. For example, use a ten-minute segment to explain in simple terms a difficult part of the course or a confusing element of the subject. Ten minutes is short enough for the learners to keep their attention at maximum, yet it is enough to introduce some of the elements we’ve mentioned above. Set a challenge at the end of that ten-minute section, and you are guaranteed not to lose the learners’ attention.
eLearning definitely has a lot of potential for including different elements that increase interactivity and engagement. Turn to combinations of different media, add a bit of gamification and animation, and your learners will be enthusiastic about participating.