The Two Most Important Tactics In Advanced eLearning Development

The Two Most Important Tactics In Advanced eLearning Development

In eLearning, or any learning, the participant must complete the material. Too many people do not complete the elearning courses. Online training is moving away from the instructor-led classroom model to a user / desktop centric model and elearning developers must present content in a manner that engages the user right through to course completion.

“How do you draw users into the content and keep them immersed through to completion?”

 

There are two tactics available to you:

  1. Visual appeal (eye candy)
  2. The interactive strategy (the user climbs in mentally to the application)

The Visual Strategy

Visually uninspiring, text heavy elearning loses the user quickly. Because of the technologies involved, the user expects courseware with a designer’s touch employing imagery, graphics, elegant backgrounds, and selective animations and transitions. You use the visual opening to draw the user into the content. When you see a great storefront window display you go into the store.

However, no matter how great the entry the user’s level of interest can wane unless there is great content and compelling substance so as to keep them interested. You must engage the user at a deeper level to retain interest and make them want to complete the course. Picture in your mind the teenager with a handheld video game or smartphone who has lost track of time and entered the application virtually. You want that level of engagement.

The Interactive Strategy

Interactivity occurs between a student and your software. Interactive elearning design has come of age and most higher end multimedia authoring tools are capable of creating the three levels of interaction described below:

Rote Interaction: Navigation commands are the most common form of rote interactivity. Next, Back, Enter, Exit, Help buttons require user input but become mechanical and minimize the cognitive engagement of the user.
Cognitive Interaction: This level of interaction requires the user to make choices based on information provided them. The interactivity may function like a puzzle in that the user must reach a goal but must overcome challenges along the way. The obstacles presented may change based on user choices. Branching, scenarios, and ‘real play’ simulations are techniques used to present situations to the user.
Instinctual Interaction: Also known as the Nintendo Interaction. Adding a timing element to a cognitive interaction produces quick, almost instinctual responses in the student. The student is attentive and engaged. Skill transference is most successful at this level. 

You can apply these techniques to your new courseware and rejuvenate your tried and true, but dated content with outstanding positive results. With increased attentiveness and engagement you will improve course completion rates thereby improving learner performance more quickly. If you wish to learn more about how to enhance your online training, read our free ebook Learn How To Create Performance Based eLearning.

Images from IntelFreePress and JeffAdair

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