According to a Valuates Reports forecast, the global game-based learning market will reach $18 billion by 2028. The increasing use of gamification and similar tactics in online interactive learning show that educators are responding to the needs of digital-native learners.
But what is it about interactive learning that makes it such an effective learning tool? And how can educators make sure they are using interactive learning in an engaging and meaningful way?
Below, we provide an overview of online interactive learning and how educators can make it more engaging for the learners.
What Is Meant By Online Interactive Learning?
Online interactive learning refers to using technology to create a learning experience that is engaging and stimulating. It can take many different forms, but all involve some kind of interaction between the learner and the content. Some examples of interactive learning experiences include:
- Virtual Reality (VR)
- Augmented Reality (AR)
- Interactive Videos
Why Is Interactive Learning Important?
Interactive learning provides an ideal alternative to traditional learning methods, which can often be dry and dull.
When done well, it can capture the learner’s attention and interest while also allowing them to practice and apply what they are learning.
What Are the Benefits of Interactive Learning?
Allows Learners To Be Engaged And Motivated
Interactive learning experiences are often more engaging than traditional learning methods. They are designed to both capture and hold the learner’s attention and interest. When learners are engaged and motivated, they are more likely to retain what they are learning.
For instance, if instructors use AR or VR to create simulations and give their learners 3D walk-throughs of real-world scenarios, the learners will likely be more engaged than if they were listening to a lecture or reading a textbook.
82% of the companies that implement AR and VR in the workplace report that these technologies meet their expectations or exceed them. Thus, it’s understandable why more and more organizations are opting for AR/VR implementation.
Offers Opportunities For Practice And Application
Interactive learning experiences often provide learners opportunities to practice and apply what they learn, allowing learners to consolidate their understanding of the material and develop their skills.
Some examples of how interactive learning can offer opportunities for practice and application include:
- Virtual simulations that allow learners to experiment with different scenarios
- Games that test learners’ knowledge and require them to apply what they have learned
- Interactive videos that pause at key moments to provide learners with an opportunity to answer questions
Helps Learners Understand Concepts Better
Interactive learning can also help learners to understand concepts more easily. Why? They often provide learners with multiple representations of the same concept.
For instance, if learners are taking part in a program to learn how to use a new software the company has deployed, they may be able to see a diagram of it, watch a video about it, and then interact with a simulation of it.
It allows learners to gain a deeper understanding of the concept as they are able to engage with it in multiple ways.
Ways To Make Your Online Learning Interactive
An interactive learning portal is the first step to making your online learning more interactive. It should allow you to create and share bespoke eLearning content including uploading videos, creating simulations, and developing games.
How Can Organisations Make Their Online Learning Interactive?
Use Active Learning
Active learning means that learners are actively engaged in the learning process. It is the opposite of passive learning, which is when learners passively receive information without being actively engaged.
There are many ways to incorporate active learning into your organization’s eLearning strategy. Some examples include:
- Asking learners questions throughout the course and providing them with immediate feedback
- Breaking the course up into small sections with activities in between each section
- Using simulations, games, and other forms of interactive media
Encourage Social Learning
Social learning is when learners interact with each other to learn. It is a type of collaborative learning. Some ways to encourage social learning include:
- Creating forums where learners can discuss the course material
- Encouraging learners to share their insights and experience with the course material with each other
Microlearning refers to short, bite-sized pieces of content that are easy to consume and digest. It is an effective way to deliver information to learners because it is less overwhelming than traditional methods such as lectures and text-based learning materials.
Research shows that microlearning improves learner performance by 17%. It does so by providing learners with the opportunity to learn in short bursts, which makes it easier for them to concentrate and retain information. Here are some ways to use microlearning:
- Creating short videos that cover specific topics
- Designing simulations and games that focus on one concept
- Developing quizzes and other assessments for a single concept
In gamification, game-based elements are used in non-game contexts to engage and motivate learners. Gamification can make learning more fun and engaging for learners.
It can also encourage them to keep coming back for more. For instance, you can do the following to gamify the learning process in your organization:
- Using badges, leaderboards, and other forms of recognition to reward learners for completing courses
- Designing courses that are based on levels, so learners can progress as they complete each level
- Making the courses competitive
Use Augmented Reality And Virtual Reality
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are both interactive technologies that have been used in a variety of industries.
They are now also being used to create interactive learning experiences. For instance, you can use AR and VR to:
- Create simulations that learners can interact with
- Showcase products or concepts in a realistic way
- Make the learning process more fun and engaging for learners
Examples of Interactive Online Learning
There are many ways for organizations to leverage interactive online learning. Here are a few examples:
Online Courses With Embedded Quizzes
One way to make online courses more interactive is to embed quizzes throughout the modules. In this way, learners can test their knowledge as they go through the course.
Suppose you’re trying to upskill your workforce. You could create an online course on the basics of project management. As learners progress through the course, they will be required to answer questions about the concepts they are learning.
Storytelling is a tried and tested method of delivering information in an engaging way. You can use stories to make your online courses more interactive.
For instance, you could create a course on financial literacy. In one of the modules, you could tell the story of a family who struggled with money management.
As the story unfolds, learners would be required to answer questions about the characters’ decisions. They would also be given the opportunity to offer their own solutions to the problems faced by the family.
You can also use a 3D eBook to make the whole learning experience even more interactive. For example, this eBook could have videos, images, and illustrations to keep the learners engaged.
Creating real-life simulations is another great way to make your courses more interactive. In a simulation, learners are placed in a virtual environment where they can practice the skills they are learning.
For example, if you’re teaching customer service, you could create a simulation of a call centre. Learners would be able to practice dealing with customers’ queries and complaints.
Similarly, the healthcare industry can use simulations to train medical learners. For example, in a simulation, learners can be placed in a hospital ward where they have to deal with patients’ needs.
Before explaining how you can use it in online interactive learning, it’s important to understand the difference between a quiz and an assessment.
A quiz is a series of questions that test the learner’s knowledge of a particular subject. On the other hand, an assessment is a more comprehensive evaluation of the learner’s skills and abilities.
One way to make online courses more interactive is to use assessments. For example, you could create an assessment that tests the learner’s ability to apply the concepts they have learned.
The assessment could be in the form of a case study. In this case, the learner would be given a scenario and be required to find a solution.
If you want to make your courses more interactive but don’t want to use quizzes or assessments, there are other options.
You could create a chatbot that learners can interact with. The chatbot could provide information about the course or answer any questions the learner has.
Gamified teaching programs are 90% more likely to be completed than programs taught through traditional methods. That’s because gamification creates a sense of accomplishment and achievement.
It also encourages social interaction and collaboration. Gamification can take many forms, such as leaderboards, badges, and points.
You could use gamification to make your online courses more engaging and interactive. For example, you could give learners points for completing each module. The learner with the most points at the end of the course could be given a prize.
Likewise, you can create a Spin the Wheel when assessing the learners. For example, the learners will spin the wheel when it’s their turn to be assessed. Then, the instructor will ask them questions about the topic or category the wheel stopped on.
How Can You Practice Online Interactive Learning?
Once you have an interactive learning portal in place, you can take active steps to start interactive learning in the organizations. Here are some tips to be successful in the process:
Avoid Long Text-Heavy Sessions
There’s nothing more detrimental to an online learning experience than text-heavy sessions. Therefore, it’s important to keep the text to a minimum and focus on other forms of content, such as videos, images, and simulations.
Make Use Of Group Activities
Group activities are a great way to encourage social interaction and collaboration. In a group activity, learners must work together to complete a task.
For example, you could create a group activity where learners have to solve a problem together. The team with the best solution would be given a prize.
Use Stories and Characters to Retain Attentions
Learners often have a short attention span, so it’s important to keep them engaged. One way to do this is to use stories and characters.
For example, you could create a course that follows the story of a character. As the story progresses, the character encounters different challenges that the learner has to help them overcome.
It helps keep the learner focused on the task at hand and allows them to feel like they’re part of the story.
Encourage Social Interaction
Social interaction is an important part of the learning process. It allows learners to share their ideas and thoughts with others. It also helps to build relationships between learners.
There are many ways to encourage social interaction, such as forums, chat rooms, and social media groups. You can also use gamification to encourage social interaction. For example, you could create a leaderboard where learners earn points for interacting with other learners.
Don’t Forget About Feedback
Providing feedback is an important part of the learning process. It helps learners understand what they did well or need to improve on.
It’s important to provide feedback promptly. The sooner you can provide feedback, the better. For instance, you can provide feedback after every assessment or group activity during the learning program. Feedback should also be specific and constructive.
Interactive learning is a great way to make your courses more engaging and interactive. Therefore, it’s important to use various content types, such as videos, images, and simulations.
You can also use gamification to make your courses more engaging. Remember to encourage social interaction and provide feedback on time.
Most importantly, your interactive learning portal should be equipped with the necessary features and functionalities, while also being easy to use and navigate. All in all, it should be able to provide a seamless learning experience for your learners.
Please contact us to discuss how our off-the-shelf elearning content can help your people become more effective in their roles. You can use Skillshub or your own LMS. Our content is never boring and your learners will want to learn more and more.
Sean is the CEO of Skillshub. He’s a published author and has been featured on CNN, BBC and ITV as a leading authority in the learning and development industry. Sean is responsible for the vision and strategy at Skillshub, helping to ensure innovation within the company.