Till now in the myth buster series, we have clarified the following myths –
1. Myth 1: Learning the e-learning tools are very difficult, hence creating an e-learning is difficult
2. Myth 2: Books are better than e-learning. My course cannot surpass a book
3. Myth 3: Just put the content with some relevant pictures and my job is done
Now let us tackle one of the most common traps that we instructional designers fall for.
Myth: Engaging the user just means a self check with some options. That’s it!
Reality: This is just the beginning.
User engagement is not (anymore) an isolated task that appears at the end of the topic in form of a self check/ assessment. Instead it is a series of interactions that appear DURING THE LEARNING process, to keep the learners’ thought process active. This very idea differentiates an e-learning course from a boring lecture. These interaction when carefully structured, can even form milestones for the learner and define the progress achieved.
Let us see how –
Method 1: Let the user explore the key parts by themselves. In case the concept consists of a sample document where each area has some important point to mention, just highlight the areas to visit.
Method 2: Create a short scenario imitating a real life case. Show a gap in the scenario that the user can fill by applying the lessons learnt. This is the simplest way and can be implemented easily instead of a plain self check at the end of the topic. Remember, instead of giving just a binary response of correct/ incorrect, it is a good idea to let the learner have a freedom to explore his way out through the query.
Method 3: Make the self checks a game, where the end result is attached with some brownies.
Method 4: Create interim summaries in form of an interaction, where the learner is asked to ‘explore the summary’ instead of just memorizing the summary.
Method 5: Ask the learner to structure the correct response by putting together the bits and pieces (you can give them as hints). Here are some examples. Left hand side pictures are questions. Right hand side ones are the hints.
Method 6: Give learner a real time experience of the results that his actions can achieve. This type of user engagement fits best with simulations. Remember, a simulation need not be a software simulation only. It can be a sales simulation as well.
Method 7: Begin your chapter with a BANG! I love this sentence. One of Gagnes nine learning principles, this trick never fails. Create a quiz or a crossword on the topics previously learnt, or on what’s next to grab attention of the user.
Caution: Avoid overdoing the screen just for the sake of creating the impression.
That’s all for now. How did you find this post? Did it let your ideas rolling.