Having content that’s engaging, insightful, and easy to digest is the goal of any eLearning professional. Unfortunately, developing engaging eLearning content is much easier said than done. It’s especially difficult for subjects that are particularly technical or those that require the dissemination of high-level information into bite-sized chunks.
No matter what type of eLearning content you’re developing, though, chances are, it could be a little more engaging, user-friendly, and let’s face it – fun. Use the following strategies to enhance your eLearning content for increased engagement levels.
Understand Your Audience
This should come as a no-brainer, but it’s absolutely essential to understand exactly who your learners are. For example, imagine that you develop eLearning courses for students (in the form of online homework help). You should be analyzing your audience’s preferred learning methods, questioning what they want to get out of your eLearning courses/material, etc. Do they understand technology? Are videos preferable to slideshows? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking yourself when developing eLearning material.
Make it Interactive
One of the best ways to keep your learners actually interested in your content is by focusing on making it interactive. Not only will the learners be more interested, but they will also need to focus more naturally. Engagement levels will have no choice but to increase if you introduce some interactivity into your eLearning material.
Wondering how exactly to make your content interactive? It largely depends on what type of eLearning content you’re producing, but some basic examples include drag-and-drop interfaces, interactive courses, or interactive quizzes/tests. Keep in mind that to develop effective interactive content, you’ll need to have a deep understanding of your audience.
Clearly Define Learning Goals for Your Audience
Your learners must know what the outcome of your content will be. Why would they devote their time to your course if they don’t know what they’re going to get out of it? If you clearly describe what the learner will gain from the content, you will be setting them up for success (and contributing to a more effective learning environment).
Apart from helping your learners digest your material better, having clearly defined goals will also help you structure your content. Having an enhanced content structure will not only benefit you, but it will also benefit your audience as well. After you’ve defined objectives for your material, you will find it much easier to layout the rest of your eLearning strategy.
Make Your Sections Short
Nobody likes to read extended, drawn-out pieces of content. That’s the exact opposite of why eLearning is so popular, to begin with. People want short, digestible pieces of content (otherwise, they would just learn from a textbook). Your learners are busy, and they don’t have the time to sift through walls of text. If you truly want to increase your engagement, you need to divide your eLearning materials into short, easy to follow sections.
Don’t Neglect Design
One of the more overlooked aspects of eLearning content development is design. How do you expect to have engaging content if it isn’t even attractive? Having an attractive design will directly lead to increased engagement from your learning audience.
Wondering how to start designing more engaging eLearning content? One of the best tips to keep in mind is to avoid having clutter in your design. Don’t clump text and images together. White space is important, and your content should be able to breathe (but don’t go overboard). If you focus on having an aesthetic design, your learners will thank you for it (which will naturally lead to increased engagement from them).
Give it Some Meaning
You should strive to make your eLearning content meaningful for your audience. If you can make your audience connect with your course, it will be that much easier for them to learn from it. One of the best ways to create content meaningful is by infusing it with some emotion. Having your learners have personal reactions to your content will make your eLearning course/material engaging on an entirely different level.
Unlock Your Navigation
Your learners should be able to explore the course materials freely. Nothing is more restrictive (in a learning environment) than being forced to consume content. Once your learners have the freedom to move around at their own pace, they’ll start creating their own paths to success. Giving your learners the ability to explore your eLearning content will undoubtedly lead to higher levels of engagement.