How much interactivity do you put in your e-learning?

(First published by Neil on 01/05/2018)

This thought, of course, is seldom very far from our minds as e-learning developers. If you did the TAP Certificate in E-Learning Design or similar, you’ll have been told that your e-learning should be interactive throughout. Purely informational content will be dismissed as “E-Information” and Death by PowerPoint is sure to follow.

However, we were recently told that a prototype software simulation for Skype for Business had “too much clicking”. And I once sat in a meeting where the ID had (correctly, I thought) asked the learner to have a stab at something before telling them the correct answer; the SME wasn’t happy, saying that the learner needs the information before being asked anything about it. So a lot of clients still expect the 1 ‘here’s the information’ – 2 ‘now you have a go’ – 3 ‘let’s see how much you remember’ approach.

Here’s an example. You’re creating some software simulation e-learning and on this screen you want the learner to click on a particular button on the screen:

The learner then has to go looking for the green button and is more likely to remember where it is and what it looks like. Depending on where s/he clicks, we’ll then show a popup saying “correct” and go to the next screen, or one saying “wrong – try again”. Maybe we’ll allow the learner three attempts before putting a big ring around the green button and saying “you should have clicked here” before moving to the next screen.

If you show the learner where to click, like this:

…then s/he will just fly through the whole exercise on autopilot clicking on the highlighted buttons, and probably not remember anything. Maybe we could use a variation on this, so that if the learner hasn’t clicked anything after ten seconds, then the purple callout appears with a hint.

I don’t know, I’m sure everybody has an opinion, so what do you think?

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