3 things you will learn from our upcoming webinar on eLearning trends for 2017.

looking ahead car windscreen

L&D professionals had a lot to keep up with in 2016. 2017 doesn’t look to be any different either. Staying on top of your game means you have to keep up with, or at the very least, a keen eye on the ways our industry shaping.

Yet, with the rate of change in our industry, staying on top of trends can often seem like a full time job. Yes, trends come and go and it can be all too easy to just switch off and turn a blind eye to what’s going on outside our own little comfy bubbles of doing what is always done, not to mention the constant interruption of new information, which can be over whelming and hard to digest.

But what good will it really do just to put your head in the sand and ignore what developments are being made in eLearning?

Keeping abreast, now more than ever is so incredibly important. Things do change. And staying up-to-date on industry trends allows you to be in the best possible position to made any necessary informed decisions about strategy and plans going forward. And hey – we’re not saying that you must adopt the trends and developments, just be conscious of them.

So if you feel you have fallen out of the loop and want to get back on-trend or you want to stay ahead of your game, we’ve done all the hard work for you and disseminated the industry information and predicted the top 10 eLearning trends of 2017, leaving you to take on board what’s happening!

Under the guidance of Gavin Woods, Client Services Director and our Associate Director and Chair of the eLN, John Curran, we will take you on a digital journey for an hour, during a live webinar on Wednesday 16 November at 12noon to explore our predictions on the latest eLearning trends that will likely make an impact in 2017.

So reserve your online seat and join us online and learn:

  1. The 10 eLearning trends to watch for in 2017
  2. What impact the key trends will have on L&D strategies
  3. New opportunities available

So what better way to get over the American Election results than to get back to the task at hand and gain great knowledge relevant to your working practice? Hope to see you online next Wednesday.

Sign up and register for free 

 

Introducing You to Keeping Safe

 

Every once in a while an eLearning project comes along that stops you in your tracks. It’s the kind of project that just gets to you. This happened to our instructional and design team about 6 months ago.

As well as being educationalists, designers, technologists, gurus, strategists or what job title you go by, we are all humans. We all have another role. We are also a mummy, daddy, sister, brother, auntie, uncle, cousin, grandparent, grandchild and of course a friend.

We knew from the very start that this wasn’t going to be a standard eLearning project. Rather than the dreaded January blues that a new year can bring, there was this incredible buzz in the office. Of course we LOVE all our eLearning projects, but this one was extra special. It was special because it affected each and every one of us. It’s was the stuff of design dreams. We were given an incredible opportunity to design and develop a project that would ACTUALLY changes lives.

Let me introduce you to this ground breaking project, Keeping Safe.NSPCC Keeping Safe eLearning Resource

Research carried out with 1,700 7-11-year-old children in Primary schools throughout Northern Ireland by NSPCC, highlighted that there are still gaps in children’s knowledge around what abuse is and who can pose a threat to them.

NSPCC NI decided to do something about that. It’s what they do, prevention. Effective early education can help children to disclose abuse earlier and get the help they need to recover sooner.

NSPCC NI commissioned Aurion Learning to create an engaging, accessible, age-appropriate and educationally sound suite of learning resources that would teach primary school children about keeping safe from abuse.

Working in collaboration with the educational team at NSPCC NI, we produced a fresh, exciting and interactive programme that applied a sensitive approach to this difficult area of education.

NSPCC Keeping Safe Home PageThe materials have been developed around three themes:

  1. Healthy Relationships
  2. My Body
  3. Being Safe

The programme includes:

  • Four interactive eLearning modules on a range of topics including bullying and abuse, including sexual and domestic abuse, incorporating best practice instructional techniques and focuses on a high illustrative approach. Each module contains a range of interactive features and includes knowledge checks, clickable diagrams, drag and drop activities, ranking/rating activities, sliders, vignettes, scenarios, and digital stories templates.Sample of interactivity from P3 lesson
  • Video clips of head to camera interviews and school footage for teachers, such as examples of good practice.
  • Classroom resources including; case studies, teaching aids and interactive animated interactions. To support the delivery of the programme, we designed four characters with two age variations, called Amy, Ziggy, Jack and Cara that reflect NSPCC brand guidelines.
  • Characters of Keeping Safe ResourceAssembly and age appropriate lesson plans that will be delivered three per term to each year group. Printable lesson plans and PowerPoint templates reuses iconography, photography and illustrations to ensure a consistent look and feel throughout the 12 assembly presentations.
  • Parent homework resources. We also weaved the technique of storytelling within the programme to reinforce the messages being taught and strengthen the learning impact of the resources. The resources have been purposely designed to be suitable for each primary year, helping to build knowledge and skills.

The initiative was commissioned by the Department of Education. Keeping Safe will be piloted across a select number of schools in Northern Ireland to assist teachers, support staff, parents and school children. It aims to finally reach every primary school pupil in Northern Ireland and hopes to save every child in Northern Ireland from abuse, neglect and bullying.

This initiative implemented by NSPCC NI is the first of its kind in Europe is a great step in educating our kids about the abuse.It has been an absolute privilege to lend our expertise to this eLearning programme and we hope that it achieves its aim of reaching every school child and to save children from abuse, neglect and bullying here in Northern Ireland and further afield.

Are you making the most out of visual content?

 

blog-4-Techniques-To-Ignite-Your-E-Learning-ContentIt’s said that we eat with our eyes. The same can also be said about the way in which we process information – through our senses. The brain is a complex, creative processing system and its handles information at different rates. This information processing starts with an input from our senses and in the majority of cases, this is through our eyes at a rate that is 100 times faster than our smell and hearing.

So what does this mean for eLearning? Transforming content to make it more visually appealing can help learners’ process valuable information quickly without losing its educational effectiveness

Here are four ways in which you can convert content to make it more visually appealing. You can also view, download and share our handy infographic.

  1. Data visualisation

Not all information demands graphic treatment. You first need to consider what information or content that you want to share. If it is data, a graph will better tell the story rather than a row of numbers.

Have a look at our 10 elearning trends infographic for example. If you are considering using data visualisation, such as an infographic, make sure that your content is concise and relevant and doesn’t end up like an article with colourful adornments.

  1. Videos

Using video instead of providing stacks of written content is a fantastic way to present information to learners. Videos can add interactivity, interest and engage the learners by immersing them with the topic being presented.

When used correctly, they also help learners remember information easily. Videos are also great for instructional techniques like scenarios, demonstrations and products sims. Learn more about using videos in elearning.

  1. Images

First off – don’t add or use an image just to have one. In many cases, using short and scannable text can often do the job. Remember that images and photographs are used to maximise learning content and reinforce the message that you are trying to convey, not distract or confuse the learner.

Your main goal in using an image, is to connect and engage with your learners. When selecting the right image, try and evoke the learners’ emotions by using an image that they will remember – getting the balance on the image is imperative though! Have a read to get some tips on using graphics in e-learning.

  1. Icons

Don’t underestimate the power of a great icon set. Often these little multi-use images are one of the most important images in your e-learning as they are the interaction and navigation. It is important to note that, like images, iconography must serve a clear purpose and are not simply placed there because they ‘look pretty’.

Don’t forget that icons are part of the brand family, so make sure that they fit with your font, colours and style. iconfinder has a good free range of icons to use.

Do you have any other tips on utilising visual aids to compliment content?

View and download infographic our handy infographic on 4 ways to ignite your elearning content. 

 

Is your eLearning in need of a refresh?

Refresh your e-learning

We love spring. It gives you an opportunity to dust off your goals and start afresh. Temperatures are (almost) into double digits and signs of green are literally springing up everywhere, but have you fully embraced the new season and spring cleaned your eLearning?

 

Unfortunately for many of us, daily demands and distractions defer us from staying on track and laying those best laid plans of revisiting our goals. Often eLearning courses and training materials only get updated when new software is released or when new budget become available! So to help inject a little spring into your learning and development, we’ve highlighted a few things to help refresh your training plans.

Review

If you’ve multiple courses, resources and programmes all on the go, it can be hard to know where to start. But if you don’t take a step back and review your current eLearning offering, you won’t be able to tell the wood from the trees and you’ll easily fall into the trap of doing more of the same.

  • Review your current courses, programmes and resources and ensure that they are still relevant and doing the job intended.
  • Make sure your content is up to date.
  • Have you got the right learning technologies for the job in hand?
  • Are you making enough of your existing eLearning materials and resources? Many can be re-used in multiple forms or similar areas.
  • De-clutter – determine what you want to keep and what you want to archive –  less really is more!
  • Have you completed your organisational needs analysis – if you have all your training ducks in a row, brilliant – you know what to prepare for the year ahead. But if you have the difficult task of reactionary training, then now is the time to find out what training requirements are expected of your organisation for the year ahead.

Prepare

Once you reviewed your current inventory, resources and assets, start compiling your next stage – preparing for what needs to get done.

  • If you are developing a new E-Learning course or programme or updating an existing one, do you have the necessary content ready? If you have a scary amount of information and training materials that are in raw form, it is worth taking the time to define the key learning objectives.
  • Have you got your subject matter experts ready to rock? When starting a new eLearning project or reviewing an existing one, your SME’s are so important. Be clear with them from the start of the project and communicate what you need from them and more importantly, in what format is required.

After reviewing a programme, you may find that it is in need of a restructure or there are elements that you’d still like to keep, but you are unsure if it still educationally effective. Know when to delegate! If you have the time, resources and skills in house to treat your programmes with sound instructional design – fantastic! If however, like many, you run the risk of overwhelming yourself with this task, knowing when to outsource and delegate certain areas or tasks can be hugely beneficial, allowing you to concentrate on the task at hand.

Engage

Having buy-in and engagement for eLearning in your organisation is key to its success. Inform and involve your managers and team leaders about your eLearning. Don’t forget to sell the benefits of the training and of e-learning as this will help you get buy-in and support. Similarly, don’t forget to report on the success of your new revitalised e-learning programme!

Whether you want to update an existing course, create a new programme, transfer classroom training materials online or looking to develop new skills to design and deliver e-learning in-house, we can infuse a little spring into your learning and development. Get in touch with us today.

What skills are required for developing eLearning in-house?

More and more organisations are designing, building and delivering eLearning content in-house. Given the obvious organisational benefits of cost and time saving, it’s no surprise.

In theory this sounds like a no brainer. Simple right?

Well actually, yes. That’s to say, it is simple if you and your organisation are equipped with the right set of specific skills.

Last week our very own Gavin Woods hosted a webinar on skilling up for eLearning, what you need to know. Throughout the webinar, we presented the top skills required for self- authoring content. Participants also got a top-down view of our hugely popular training courses and learning resources for ambitious professionals looking to hone their skills.

If you missed the webinar and want to catch up you can view the recoding. The presentation slides from the webinar are also available to download.

Essentially what was established is that there are three common skills sets that are required for developing eLearning. These are outlined below:Skills required for developing elearning

As well as receiving an insider view into the in-house development process and what elements makes a good eLearning course., participants also learnt the practical skills essential for developing engaging e-learning. They also got a real insight into the kind of resources and templates that can really fast-track the success of creating your own eLearning.

Recently we have launched a new range of best-practice training courses. These courses are specifically designed for in-house trainers and subject matter experts who want to learn how to design, build and deliver their own E-Learning and blended learning programmes. Delivered on-site in your organisation, the training courses have helped more than 50 world-class organisations build award-winning e-learning content in-house.

Our Associate Director and Chair of eLearning Network John Curran has also shared his insight into content authoring. Learn more about what he has to say on the skills required to develop your own e-learning.

If you are interested in finding out more about how our training courses and capacity building service can benefit you and your organisation, visit aurionlearning.com/training and get in touch or download our training course prospectus for a full overview of our courses.

You can also visit our community page and blog to access a wealth of resources to help you create your own E-Learning.

So if you missed this webinar, we will be hosting a new series of webinars and masterclass events throughout 2016, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to get involved.

Whether you are an in-house trainer, subject matter expert or a learning professional looking to develop your skills and become the best in your field, please get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

How to create a scenario for learning

Creating a simple scenario 2In this second instalment of scenario based learning, we take a closer look at the steps involved in creating a simple scenario.

Need to catch up on the first part of our first instalment of scenario based learning? Read it here.

Step 1 – Define learning outcomes

Decide on the learning outcomes for the scenario.  Use instructional design tools such as DIF (Difficulty, Interesting, Frequent) or KISS (Keep, Improve, Stop, Start) to identify the behaviour you want to change and what you want learners to do differently. At this point it is also worth capturing competent and incompetent behaviour and slightly grey, risky behaviour.

Step 2 – Set the scene

Almost every good story begins with setting the scene in which the story will play out. This of course should be directly related to the subject matter and the location in which the target audience will most likely encounter such decisions.

Step 3 – Introduce your characters

Now that you have set the scene and familiarised the learner with the location it is time to introduce the characters in the story. Again, realism is important and also consider drawing out traits or a backstory that are relevant to the scenes and decisions that are to come.

Step 4 – Describe decision points

The scenario is structured into a number of scenes which each offer a decision to the main character. These decision points are the moments within the scenario when the learner is offered competent, incompetent and risky options to choose from. These can be presented as multiple choice or true/false questions.  A simple linear scenario follows builds the same narrative scene by scene regardless of the answer chosen by the learner.

Step 5 –  Feedback and resources

As with all forms of learning, providing feedback is a key component in getting the learner to reflect on the problem that has been presented and the possible consequences of their decisions. The more realistic and dramatic these are the better to reinforce the impact of behaviour and choices. Scenario based learning lends itself very well to illustrating consequences as it can present tangible evidence of what can happen as a result of the learner’s decision in real life.  In a teaching scenario key learning points can also be reinforced in the feedback before the scenario progresses to the next scene.

And finally

So what’s not to like about them? Developing realistic and authentic scenarios involves a lot of effort from instructional design team and a close collaboration with the SME.

Consider, if you need a developing linear scenario that follows, a situation which unfolds over time with numerous stages and decision points.  Or maybe a simple stand-alone single scene scenario or vignette might be sufficient.

If you are interested in developing your scenario based learning skills, we’ve recently developed a new 1 day training course on Instructional Scenarios where you will learn how to structure and storyboard engaging, instructional scenarios with characters, settings and decision points. So if you’re interested designing your own scenario with support by our trainer, get in touch! 

So there you have it. An easy step by step method for creating engaging simple scenarios.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates.

A Day in the Life of an Instructional Designer.

Maresa Malloy IDMaresa Molloy is an Instructional Designer at Aurion Learning. Maresa is also an avid fan of hill-walking and would love to be stuck in a lift with Andy Murray! But mainly she is an Instructional Designer who loves providing people the best learning experiences.  If you have ever wondered what an Instructional Designer is or what they do, then you are in luck! After some persuasion, Maresa has agreed to reveal all about how a typical day at Aurion Learning shapes up.


Describe your job:

My job as an Instructional Designer involves helping clients to identify the knowledge, skill and attitude gaps of its staff, and designing learning materials to help close those gaps, based on learning theories and best practices used in my field.

Sometimes the knowledge, skill and attitude gaps may seem fairly obvious. For example, a client may to provide all new staff with a staff induction programme or they may want to introduce completely new Fire Safety procedures.

For other projects, the knowledge, skills and attitude gaps are not so obvious. For example, a client may ask us to develop a leadership portal for a multi-disciplinary team – where the knowledge, skill and attitude gaps vary greatly amongst learners. For the most part – we present completely new learning content.

However, as an Instructional Designer you can’t assume to really know the gaps until a training needs analysis is completed that defines our target audience. Part of our training needs analysis involves what we call a ‘DIF analysis’, this involves sitting down with the client – and often with the learners themselves – to identify three things:

1. What is difficult for the target audience to understand?
2. What is important for the target audience to know or be able to do?
3. What questions are frequently asked about his content?

Only then can we target the areas which staff need the most help with, and design training materials that help them to perform better in their jobs.

The training materials can be delivered in a variety of online formats, but I specialise in the design of e-learning programmes.


Describe your typical working day?

A typical day usually starts off with a cup of freshly ground coffee – one of the many perks of working at Aurion and then onto our daily team ‘scrum’ where we discuss project progress, some design and programming details and release schedules. I’ll then throw on my headphones for some “work mode” music and get on with projects. Personally, I enjoy what I do, life at Aurion is fast paced, and we are usually working to tight deadlines and have several projects on the go at any one time. As part of this, I typically work with my team to produce e-learning programmes and other training materials on time. So in any one day, I could be:

  • liaising with the client and meeting Subject Matter Experts to assess project requirements, assess learner needs and discuss learning strategies
  • meeting with the learner to gauge any difficulties or challenges they may have with the subject area
  • designing and writing the content using storyboards
  • writing supplementary content such as help sheets and job aids
  • producing online training videos
  • learning new tools and techniques in Instructional Design.

For the most part I take a proper lunch break, we are actually encouraged to do so as it is really beneficial to step away from the computer. There are a good few team lunches at Aurion and we are regularly treated to the curry, pizza and sandwich houses that the Ormeau Road has to offer! Aurion also hosts monthly Lunch and Learn sessions for the team, it’s a great way to find out what’s going on in other parts of the company and find out what exciting e-learning and digital media projects that we will be working on!

My afternoons usually comprise of talking directly to clients, team meetings, discussing a project and trying to get the best solution for it. A good thing about my role is that I get to talk to the entire team about a project – there is little hierarchy or chain of command – all team members are included in the decision-making process, from how we will design a client solution, to how projects will be managed.


What qualifications or special qualities do you need for your job?

It is beneficial to have an Instructional Design related degree. I did a Masters in Technical Communication and e-learning, and learned a lot about learning theories and methodologies from this course. However, if you don’t have a degree, it is still possible to get a job in Instructional Design if you have the skills to design and write content.

I also think you need to have the ability to write creatively and to have a passion for how people learn. It also helps to have skills in technology as you get to work with various software tools.


What do you find most challenging about your job?

The most challenging aspect of my job is getting the client to agree to the creative delivery of the learning content. It is usually the case that I am given pages and pages of content that the client wants the learner to read and ‘understand’. My job involves convincing them that we only need to use the content that helps the learner to perform better. All of the other content can be placed on the Learning Management System (LMS) or sent out in an email. We then need to do something creative with the content to ensure that the learner wants and is motivated to read your material.


What aspect of your job do you enjoy most?

I love the actual writing of the content. By the time you get to this stage, you usually have all of the source material and it’s a case of taking pages of content and trying to do something creative with it. I enjoy the challenge and also the pressure to work towards deadlines.


What advice would you offer any Instructional Designers who are interested in joining the Aurion team?

At Aurion, there is a growing focus on continuous improvement and pushing the perception of what learning is and where it can happen. If you’re an Instructional Designer who is looking for a new challenge then be sure to get in touch. As a growing team, we’re always on the lookout for talented people, you can view our jobs at http://www.aurionlearning.com/who.aspx#jobs

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates. 

How do you solve a problem like content?

Successful e-learning is a combination of technology that works, great learning design and meaningful content. Content is often however the most difficult resource to obtain when developing e-learning.

In this short post, we take a look at how to source content, make the most out of existing content and ensure that the content is suitable for your e-learning programme or module.

What many organisations don’t realise is they are already sitting on a mass of existing content that can easily be replicated in to usable and effective content for their e-learning courses. Any company or organisation that is already delivering some form of training is actually ready with content.

Existing content can come in various forms:

  • employee handbook,content image
  • policy documents,
  • facilitator guides,
  • classroom training hand-outs,
  • presentations given on various subjects by senior managers at various forums.
  • company information

So what do you do with the content now that you have identified the sources?

As tempting as it may be to simply regurgitate those existing text based resources and assume that it can be deployed onto a web based progamme, you will be disappointed to hear that unfortunately it is not quite as straight forward as this. It is essential that you take a careful look at the content and determine whether it still has the same meaning in an online context. If not, you need to (re)organise it, paraphrase it and reproduce it as content plays a pivotal role in providing the structure of an e-learning programme.

The content for your eLearning programme needs to not only meet the learning needs of your organisation but also actively engage the learner, including interaction with fellow learners as without the right content, quite often learning points are missed and participants become disengaged.

When developing content for your e-learning programme, it is important to start with the basics – identify the content that is aligned with your organisational goals and developed within the context of your broader training strategy.

Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this. Follow us on twitter @aurionlearning for our latest blog articles and updates. 

Checklist for choosing an e-learning vendor

By Glynn Jung

Glynn Jung

Glynn Jung

Whichever product or service you seek, an organised, comprehensive selection process is required – perusing websites of e-learning companies just doesn’t work. The selection process for a suitable e-learning vendor should be  guided by whether they are supplying:

  • technology,
  • off the shelf e-learning titles or
  • design and development services.

It helps if you develop a checklist, (indeed most purchasing departments demand this) so that you are consistent in comparisons. We recommend listing all the attributes of a perfect-fit vendor and deciding which features are must-haves, whether these are immediate needs or future growth and finally how important each feature is (“points”).

We also recommend that organisations adopt the “MoSCoW” method for determining their needs. This is based on agreeing:

  • ‘must-have’
  • ‘should have’
  • ‘could have’ and
  • ‘would be nice to have’ – most organisations concentrate exclusively on “must have”.

Below is a sample checklist that you might consider as a starting point for your own selection of a technology vendor.

In any e-learning vendor selection process there are generally a number of important criteria, such as pricing, technology, quality, service and so on. With regard to technology, ensure your vendors know what they will be dealing with in your organisation.

Attribute Must Have Now or Future Points
Vendor Qualifications
Does the vendor serve organisations similar to yours?
What do current customers similar to yourselves say
Is the vendor’s customer base sizeable enough to ensure continued operation?
Are customer references available?
Does the vendor support customer implementations with training and support?
Can the vendor assure you of a successful implementation?
Does the vendor have a proven plan for implementation of its system?
How long has the vendor been operating in the e-learning market?
Pricing
Is pricing in line with similar offerings?
Does the vendor rely primarily on revenue from its commercial system or is customization a large part of its income?
Does the vendor offer a base price that scales with volume?
Does the price include everything you will require to get started?
Can you see a relationship between cost and quality?
Quality
Does the vendor guarantee successful operation?
Is there a stated quality policy?
Are “bugs” resolved quickly or do they wait for a future release?
How easy is the system to use: How much training is required?
Does the system require minimal resources for administration?
How reliable is the system: How often and for how long does it go down?
Technology
Do the technical qualifications reflect our technology
Is the system’s technology up to date? State-of-the-art?
Does the vendor rely on outside support for its basic services?
Is the system capable of delivering current types of media?
Does the vendor provide multiple solutions for your needs?
Can the system support with various authoring tools?
Does the system support the browsers we need supporting?
Does the system support mobile devices?
Does the system support our compliance requirements?
Support
Are maintenance fees readily available?
Does the vendor require the purchase of periodic updates?
Does the vendor provide 24/7customer support?
Does the system support multiple languages?
Does the system support the accessibility we require?
Can the software be placed in Escrow?

Bespoke e-learning development

If the need is for bespoke course development or off-the-shelf titles many of the same technical considerations still apply. You need to ensure that any course content can be accessed and viewed using devices which your staff will be using. You further need samples of their work to compare but before you do this we recommend you identify:

  • who will be using the courses,
  • where they’ll be using them and
  • what you consider to be fit-for-purpose regarding design of content.

For example if your IT people operate a “no download, no plugins” policy that the course material requires no extra software, will operate properly on your LMS (if you use one) or as a web-playable course and on any special devices your learners may use.

Location of learning is significant – if it’s in a retail store, warehouse or factory audio is rendered virtually useless.

Your list may be modified as you start talking to potential vendors: the critical thing is to keep your absolute priorities and needs in front of you at all times and not be swayed by sophisticated marketing or sales.

Project planning and management.

Ensure the vendor provides a clear project approach which is logical and understandable – they’re the experts so they should be able to keep to plan, warn of any pitfalls and deliver on time, within budget and to agreed benchmarks.

Working relationships

The final thing I want to talk about is working relationships. Working with willing, supportive, responsive and flexible vendors can quickly develop into a true partnership: if you really solely on numerical weighting systems you run the risk of attempting to work with people who don’t fit your organisation’s or people’s style and culture.

Demand three personal referees similar to yourselves in their client base. Talk to these referees; don’t use a pro forma reference form: find out what they’re like to work with and what their strengths and weaknesses are.

Also find out who will actually be working on your project: assess them as people when you come to interview your shortlisted companies – have a get-out clause ready in case the sales time disappears after they’ve closed the business and there’s no-one to talk to in the vendor organisation who understand your needs.

What checklist do you use when selecting a vendor? Please let us know your comments or share with others who you think may benefit from this checklist.

ABOUT THE AUTHORGlynn Jung

Glynn Jung is Non-Executive Director at Aurion Leanring. He has over 25 years’ experience delivering innovative and cost-effective learning and process improvement strategies for a wide range of public, private and third sector organisations.

Why adding interactive activities is important for e-learning.

By Maresa Molloy, Instructional Designer at Aurion Learning.

At Aurion Learning, our experience tells us that one of the best ways to guarantee learner interest and retention is through the appropriate and frequent use of interactivity.

This short article identifies the top five benefits of adding interactive activities to your online learning resources.Engagement

  1. Changes learner behaviour – Interactive activities such as, scenario-based exercises, behaviour modelling and guided practice prompt learners to review the lesson against their own work-place practices which is an ideal approach to affect positive behaviour change amongst staff.
  2. Ensures the message is understood – formative assessments, questioning and assessed role-plays provide learners with instant feedback, offering appropriate affirmation or explanation depending on whether the learner has answered correctly or incorrectly.
  3. Connects with the workplace – printable job aid exercises, such as checklists and action plans, prompt learners to focus on the application of the course material to their particular role.
  4. Engages all learning styles – variety of presentation, practice and assessments support high levels of user interactivity and engagement. Rich task-based multi-media and audio immerse learners by providing realistic practice in the subject areas being taught.
  5. Promotes a positive learning experience the use of appropriate interactivity encourages learners to return to refresh their learning as well recommend the resource to their colleagues as material for group or individual learning.

As a quick rule of thumb, we feel that the definition provided by American Instructional Technology guru, Brandon-Hall encapsulates the spirit of good interactivity:

“An interaction is an engagement of the mind……. not the finger!”