Learners easily slip into the habit of selecting the next button without comprehending or internalizing the material presented to them, and when it comes to creating a successful learning experience that’s a problem.
A HUGE problem.
Especially when you need them to take in the information, comprehend it, and maybe even apply it. What if you could create courses that were engaging, stopped mindless clicking or swiping, and provided metrics that validate learners’ comprehension of the curriculum?
What is interactive learning?
Interactive learning is the process of two people or things working together and influencing each other. For corporate and professional audiences, interactive learning is a pedagogical approach that incorporates social interaction and technology into course design and delivery.
Millennial and Gen Z, tech-savvy users are becoming a rising force in the workplace, and, for them, technology is as natural as a pen and paper was for the generations before them. This shift in the facilitation of learning presents an opportunity to enhance the way the corporate world learns, like increasing responsive learning for mobile devices.
The role change, from keeper of knowledge to facilitator of learning, presents a challenge and an opportunity for educators to dramatically change the way their students learn. Interactivity has shifted the boundaries between teacher and student.
3 types of interactivity (without technology)
Even though you probably don’t think of them by their learning industry titles, there are three types of interactivity that we use in our daily lives.
1. Call and response
Call and response is an interaction between a speaker and an audience in which the speaker’s statements are punctuated by responses from the listeners.
Remember being asked to raise your hand when you knew the answer to the question in grade school? That’s call and response learning. The teacher poses a question to the classroom, and the learners, or students in this example, raise their hands and provide a response.
Self-direction is an interaction where an individual chooses the subject they will learn, their studying material, and the studying rhythm and time. It puts the learner in control of the content they consume (or don’t consume).
Over the past decade or so, we’ve seen self-directed learning take off with learning experience platforms, where learners can choose educational paths based on their job role, abilities, and desired skills.
Immersive learning is any activity where the learner is fully immersed in a real-world scenario. This kind of learning is especially powerful because you actually have to take action and apply the concepts you’ve learned.
We helped a regional grocery chain address issues between their corporate offices, distribution centers, and stores with this exact kind of learning. By filming a live action video and interactive scenarios that showed how everyday decisions in the corporate office affected centers and stores, we helped the grocery chain’s business analysts and buyers make smarter decisions.
Sometimes we learn best by doing—this is how immersive learning makes a difference.
Immersive learning with technology
Technology has made learning easier and more efficient thanks to improved design and mobile-friendly delivery options, but there are other overarching benefits that fit a larger picture of how technology has improved the learning experience.
While still a large investment depending on the type of technology, accessibility and cost barriers have significantly decreased in the last several years thanks to innovation. Our favorite suite of learning tools, Articulate 360, is a great example of high-value authoring tools that are packed with features to make high-quality, interactive courses.
Thanks to technology, we’re now able to reach a broader audience anytime, anywhere. Learning was restricted to when and where a teacher could deliver the material—but reaching learners anywhere is now possible thanks to scalability. Think: less learning happening in front of a handbook or textbook, and more learning happening in front of a phone or tablet, which means considering delivery methods from the beginning of a project.
Technology also allows for consistency on the methods of training and materials being taught to learners. Instead of having to send five different instructors out to various regions—all trying to teach the same material in their own ways—there is now a scalable means to deliver consistent training.
How to blend technology and interactive learning
We believe beautiful performance occurs with the right mix of technology and a relevant learning style. We’ve worked with many amazing clients who have wanted to elevate their learning in the following ways:
Call and response
Thanks to technology, we are now able to improve our interactive learning experiences when it comes to traditional call and response through:
Self-assessments are a great way for learners to get a baseline of their understanding before jumping into a course or to test their knowledge at the conclusion of a course.
Knowledge checks allow learners to test their knowledge as they go through a course. At the end of a section or in-depth explanation, they can do a quick check to see if they understood the lesson. This could be through drag-and-drop, click and reveal, or other avenues of interactivity.
Quizzes are a more cumulative approach to call and response learning and probably the most common. Quizzes allow learners to test their knowledge on a section or a course as a whole.
While not the most interactive on the scale of interactivity levels, these interactions take call and response to a new level by allowing learners to stay engaged in the learning experience directly on their device.
Self-directed learning is often described as “bite-sized” because of the ability to digest small amounts at a time when on the go.
- Mobile responsive eLearning – Mobile apps usage is on the rise, and with nearly 77% of U.S. adults owning a smartphone, it makes sense to deliver learning on a mobile device and allow learners to pull necessary information themselves when needed. One of our favorite tools for developing responsive learning is Articulate Rise.
- On-demand eLearning – Thanks to this rise in mobile app usage, bite-sized eLearning is easier to create and more readily available to learners. On-demand learning also allows learners to access the information when it is necessary. Instead of sitting through an hour-long course on the features and benefits of a new product, learners can access that information in the field or when they are in front of a customer.
- Learning experience platforms – Most training is transitioning towards digital, and learning experience platforms (LXPs) give companies a place to store their entire educational libraries while tracking learner progress. LXPs along with modern learning management systems are ideal for self-directed, on-the-go learning. Looking for an LXP for your courses? Try Loop LXP today.
- Custom training videos – Video is the fastest-growing learning technology, and it allows learners to stop and start a subject when they need to. Whether they’re learning a new concept from start to finish or just looking for a refresher, video is leading the way.
- Augmented Reality – Augmented reality is a type of technology that lets you overlay digital information on top of a learner’s environment—all in real time. The device used can be something as simple as your phone to create a semi-immersive learning experience.
- Virtual Reality – Virtual reality, on the other hand, is 100% immersive, allowing the learner to feel like they are interacting with a completely different world. VR is a great learning method for highly technical or dangerous job types—think surgeon or military fighter pilot.
How to determine when to use interactivity—and what type!
Knowing what you are trying to achieve through your learning will direct how much and what type of interactivity is the best to use.
Creating a 20 minute eLearning with a few click-and-reveal and knowledge checks may not be enough to train a brain surgeon. At the same time, creating a virtual reality experience to teach an entry-level employee how to work the cash register at their local retailer may be a bit excessive.
We encourage you to spend time brainstorming and mapping out the big ideas and end goals of your learning. From there, work backwards and see where it makes sense to test the learners’ knowledge and integrate varying levels of interactivity.
For a more in-depth mapping process, we encourage you to work with your performance partner on a consulting engagement. Together, you can take a deep dive into what the best solution is for your needs and goals.
Need to consult someone on if interactivity is right for your course?
Send us a message! We’re all for knowledge sharing around here.Talk to us→