The Gomo guide to continuous scrolling: How (and why!) to structure eLearning courses like websites

When you’re authoring eLearning content with responsive design in mind, it’s not always enough for your courses to look like they belong on a website or phone app—they need to act like it, too!

Continuous scrolling is a great way to make your learners feel as if they’re navigating a well-constructed website or a familiar social media app. This vertical navigation style can:

  • Make sure overloaded employees don’t have to grapple with another unfamiliar app
  • Complement multi-device learning for deskless learners
  • Achieve that all-important learning interactivity
  • Keep learners engaged with the help of an absorbing and uninterrupted approach

So, what makes continuous scrolling such an essential part of your authoring toolkit? And how can you make it happen? Read on.

What is continuous scrolling?

We’re all familiar with continuous scrolling in our personal lives: it’s how we navigate social media and similar apps via smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. If you’ve ever read a newspaper article or looked for something to watch on Netflix, you’ve felt the power of continuous scrolling in action.

In a content authoring context, continuous scrolling is an alternative to the more traditional click-next, slideshow-style approach, in which learners periodically click through to a new screen. While the latter is a tried-and-tested way to guide learners through their eLearning courses, continuous vertical scrolling comes with its own set of advantages.

What are the 4 key benefits of continuous scrolling?

While continuous scrolling can upgrade your courses with visual flair and a satisfying mode of interaction, it’s much more than a cosmetic option. Let’s take a look at some of the practical, research-backed benefits continuous scrolling brings to the eLearning table.

1) Continuous scrolling is a familiar, user-friendly way to navigate content

When it comes to workplace technology, you just can’t overestimate the power of familiarity.

According to a 2023 survey from Gartner, desk workers use an average of 11 applications—almost double the six applications those workers would have been using in 2019. And, as we all know, the presence of more apps doesn’t equate to more effective working. In fact, the same study found that around half of digital workers struggle to find the information they need.

Against this backdrop of tech overload, it’s essential not to let eLearning become another complexity to navigate. A continuous scrolling structure is a great way to prevent that: it allows you to deliver learning in a form that most learners will find innately familiar and comfortable. Combined with the browser-based straightforwardness of a cloud tool like Gomo, which doesn’t require clunky downloads, continuous scrolling will allow you to slot eLearning into your learners’ working lives without making your tech stack start to wobble!

2) Continuous scrolling complements multi-device learning

Whether it’s down to convenience or necessity, there are plenty of reasons why your learners might prefer to complete their courses via smartphone or tablet. That’s why we take responsiveness seriously here at Gomo—learners deserve the best possible learning experience no matter what screen size they’re working with!

Take our customer Greene King, for example. As a UK pub and restaurant chain, its workers tend to be frontline staff—but they still need to know all the latest rules and regulations, even when they’re on their feet or on the move. As one spokesperson put it, “Since many of our learners use their own devices, we needed truly responsive learning—our courses had to do more than shrink down or force learners to switch to a landscape layout.”

Continuous scrolling gels perfectly with the need to do more than shrink. It’s about making the learning experience match the look of your content, fulfilling key expectations around how you should interact with phone- or tablet-based content.

Discover how Gomo helped Greene King deliver time-sensitive content at scale:

Relevant and responsive: How Greene King catered to a multi-device audience amid continual legislative change

3) Continuous scrolling is a fundamentally interactive experience

Continuous scrolling isn’t just a way to meet expectations around screen size: it’s also a great way to add a touch of interactivity to your content.

It’s now widely accepted that interactivity and an active approach to learning are great ways to improve learning outcomes: that’s why Gomo offers such a wide range of quizzes, assessments, and similar interactive elements. 

When you introduce continuous scrolling into your courses, your learners benefit from a high baseline of interactivity. Rather than passively consuming your content, they actively participate in progressing their content along and remain physically connected to your material. When combined with activities like drag-and-drop matching tasks and question interactions, this innately interactive relationship between learners and their material starts them off on a more engaged footing.

In other words, before you even get as far as Gomo’s array of interactive elements, your learners will already be physically engaging with your content with every twitch of their mouse wheel (or thumb!).

4) Continuous scrolling can lead to stronger learner engagement

Interactivity isn’t the only engaging aspect of continuous scrolling. This style of navigation doesn’t just provide an experience reminiscent of scrolling through social media: it also dips into the properties that make scrolling on smartphones so compelling.

According to academic research on the psychology of scrolling, the notoriously engrossing nature of social media content is rooted in a lack of interruption. The study found that when participants were asked to consume multiple consecutive pieces of media before getting on with a work task, (rather than alternating), they were 22% more likely to continue consuming content rather than completing their work task. The “pull of the rabbit hole”, as the researchers put it, is strong. 

Mimicking the qualities of that rabbit hole by giving your learners the power to scroll through content with minimal disruptions or page breaks can introduce that same “pull” into your learning culture. And, while the procrastination described in the study isn’t normally helpful during work hours, taking the absorbing qualities of our scrolling habits and applying them to eLearning is a great way to put the phenomenon to productive use.

How to implement continuous scrolling in Gomo

As with most Gomo features, setting up continuous scrolling is a simple process. All you need to do is head over to the project structure view, right-click a topic, and select “topic settings.” That’ll take you to the “topic details” menu, which includes fields like your default title, your production status, and—crucially—your navigation direction.

Right underneath the navigation directions, you’ll see a section titled “navigation options.” Tick the box marked “display content using continuous scrolling,” and you’re all set!

If you’re looking to add an extra splash of character to your vertical navigation experience, Gomo also allows you to enable parallax from the screen properties window. This causes any background graphics to move at a slower speed than those in the foreground. The result? A sense of depth and dimensionality that gives your continuous scrolling an added layer of polish.

About the author: Simon Waldram

As Product Manager at Gomo, I’m passionate about delivering value at every interaction and to increase sustainable proven value for our customers and business.

I have extensive experience of working within both the commercial and educational sectors, and approach all projects with a strategic mind.

This combination of education and commercial experience has enabled me to stay at the leading edge of emerging technologies to ensure that customers are provided with a framework for success.

Experience the power of continuous scrolling with Gomo

You’re just a free trial away from experiencing Gomo’s simple-but-sophisticated content navigation options. Reach out to discover how Gomo can help you provide familiar, engrossing, and fully responsive content to your learner base—or get a free trial and see for yourself!