Blog_Graphic_02062017.pngHow do we develop content that users can interact with? Finding ways to get users to actively participate in learning instead of passively consuming it is not new, but it is one of the major trends for 2017.

In order for learning to “stick,” we have to design and develop learning experiences that not only engage and motivate our audience, but also provide opportunities to apply the skills and behaviors being trained. And this application is most beneficial and effective when it occurs frequently during the learning experience.

The challenge is doing this in new and creative ways and not falling into the same old trap of presenting text and following up with a quiz or test at the end of a lesson or module. While this can be effective, it can also be boring, and remember, we want to engage and set conditions that motivate our learners.

Here are some examples of ways to add interactivity that can boost the learning experience:

  • Make it personal. Do this by personalizing the learning experience. This can be accomplished with your writing style. You can also incorporate avatars and characters the learner can select and follow throughout the training. Using text-entry fields where the learner can input their name and be called by name during the training can also be simple and effective.
  • Tell a story. There is no better way to effectively convey information than to tell a story. Let the learner be part of the story by choosing characters and examples the learners can identify with. Whether you are training policies, technical skills, problem-solving skills, or presenting facts, there is always a story to be told that provides the teachable moments and reinforces the key points in your content.
  • Play games. Create interactivity that allows the users to apply what they’ve learned in fun and challenging ways. Convert your traditional limited response quizzes (true/false, multiple choices, etc.) to challenges that help tell your story. Take the learner on a “quest” where they must successfully complete challenges before moving to the next topic. Be sure to Incorporate rewards. This can be in the form of points, badges, stars, etc. that help motivate the learner. Let the learners play the game as many times as they want to improve their score and reach a higher level or scale in the game. The repetition will help the learning stick. If you are struggling to get away from the traditional quiz, add a timer, sound effects, or other media elements to make the experience more engaging.
  • Leverage templates. There are a multitude of interactive templates available for download, and many authoring tools provide templates as well as functionality to create your own. Use the template as a starting off point and customize it for your audience and your content.
  • Take notes. Incorporate ways for the learners to take notes along the way. Allow time for them to reflect on information presented in a lesson and to write down the key takeaways. Have them describe how the information is relevant to them and how they will apply what they learned right away. You can also include review questions to help reinforce those key points.

At the end of the day, be purposeful with the interactions you include in your training and make sure they support learning. Make them personal, make them fun, and make them rewarding.

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