5 easy ways to create engaging eLearning
From color choice to the placement and grouping of individual assets, the choices you make when authoring eLearning content can mean the difference between a course that learners love and one that gets overlooked, no matter how useful the content within. Discover five ways to ensure that the eLearning you create fires on all cylinders.
If you’re spending hours creating eLearning content, your hope is that it’ll catch the attention of as many learners as possible. With the many distractions we all face daily—from emails to impromptu requests, to smartphone notifications—it can be tough for people to find time to dedicate to learning. So, when we give learners what they need to grow, it ought to keep their attention and be truly engaging.
1) Color schemes matter, so choose wisely!
When you’re developing your eLearning content, whether that’s the colors, graphics, content placement, or overall formatting, every aspect matters. Keeping in step with your brand’s image is especially important if you want learners to associate the learning content with their day-to-day responsibilities.
Taking a scientific approach, psychology says that certain colors can influence a person’s behavior and their ability to learn. Color may even affect the neurological pathways in the brain and impact a person’s mood. These factors play a role in whether or not people will be able to connect with and retain the learning you deliver.
Make sure your courses continue to look great. Check out:‘7 eLearning visual design mistakes and how to fix them’
2) Pay attention to contrast and placement
If you’ve ever experienced an eLearning course that you had to squint to see, it was probably due to a poor choice in font size, color, contrast—or all the above. To avoid contrast issues, choose background colors that act as a canvas for your content. This will also be important for accessibility.
A dark background should have lighter text and vice versa. For example, if you’re creating a course and feel the urge to use a yellow font on a light background, definitely reconsider! Remember that learners are very likely to view your courses on a different screen configuration to your own. What seems like perfectly contrasted, easily readable text on your screen may be impossible to read on theirs. This is one of many reasons to test your courses on multiple devices.
If learners have a tough time deciphering text, they’re not likely to stick around. Not everyone who creates eLearning content is a graphic designer—and that’s perfectly fine! Take advantage of the many free graphic design courses available if you find yourself needing inspiration or direction.
3) Don’t keep elements separated
The law of proximity states that our brains and eyes will assume relationships between items that are in close proximity to one another. For instance, if several images are grouped together at the bottom of a page, our mind will assume that they’re connected somehow—simply based on their similar position on the page. If you’re grouping together random images that aren’t related somehow, this could be confusing to a learner.
Even more ideas for great eLearning visuals:'3 simple factors to help you make better image choices for your courses'
4) Refresh your approach to learner assessments
While many people might enjoy predictability, this isn’t always the best approach when it comes to learning. After all, variety is the spice of life. In the case of assessments, it might even help you create the “secret sauce” your eLearning program needs.
Keeping this in mind, start taking stock of how easy it is for you to perform knowledge checks in different ways. Whether you’re looking to identify the unique learning style of a specific learner or you’re creating new learning goals, assessments can help with both—and everything in between!
There are several things to look at when deciding on what kind of updates you’ll need to make to your assessment approach. You’ll want to make these updates if you’re keen to:
- Track learner progress in an effort to adjust the pace of a course
- Adapt your learning to meet changes to business goals
- Keep learners motivated and help them apply the skills they’ve learned
- Provide L&D teams with meaningful feedback on the impact of learning
- Measure competencies against internal and external factors
If learners aren’t engaging with the assessments, or the feedback you’re receiving isn’t helpful, that’s a clear sign you need to refine your methods. Otherwise, learners might feel as if assessments are simply another chore. This could lead to inaccurate feedback or data that simply isn’t helpful.
Further thoughts on assessments:‘13 things you should know about eLearning assessments and quizzes’
5) Present your questions in varied, meaningful ways
Your eLearning authoring tool should be versatile enough that your assessments enforce your learning goals. Mix up the question types you use and make your assessments interactive, fun, and stimulating. This varied approach can help you identify any learning gaps along the way. A few methods are:
- Dropdown lists
- Multiple selection options
- Drag and drop answers
- Multiple-choice questions
- Text and numerical fields
- Fill in the blanks
- Timed quizzes
Be sure to give careful thought to each one of these options before making the changes. Each assessment should be designed with a specific purpose in mind, and question types should be able to complement them. For instance, if the goal is to test critical understanding or reasoning, give learners a short-form text box rather than multiple choice. If you’re looking to identify learner competency in workspace safety protocols, try using hotspot images.
Did you know?
Hotspot images are interactive and allow learners to click on different areas of the image in order to discover more information