Your employees are in pursuit of more knowledge and better training to advance their careers. Are you providing the right opportunities to help them grow?
Learning should not be contained to a classroom. In the age of personal branding and side hustles, your employees are craving more in-depth knowledge to help them advance personally and professionally. And as an employer, you should be prioritizing employee education because it makes your team better, smarter, and faster.
But providing learning opportunities isn’t enough. You need to understand the best ways to keep your team engaged while training them. This is easier said than done, especially when most eLearning training is completed via technology, as opposed to in-person training.
That doesn’t mean eLearning needs to be a boring two-hour session in front of a pre-recorded seminar. Interactive eLearning is the perfect opportunity to create an employee education strategy that fosters collaboration and deeper understanding.
What is interactive eLearning?
Interactive eLearning is an eLearning strategy that encourages a dialogue between educators and learners through modules such as progress quizzes, gamification, and more. The goal is to create an experience for learners that prioritizes doing the work while you learn.
You might be wondering what counts as interactive eLearning. Here are some examples:
Interactive eLearning allows learners to ask questions, collaborate with their peers, and gain a deeper understanding of the material. All of these strategies help learners retain information faster and keeps them mentally engaged with the coursework.
Why does eLearning need to be interactive?
Technology has turned the world into a fast-paced place where people's attention is constantly being pulled in different directions. Distractions are everywhere and people have gotten very good at tuning out what they deem unimportant.
More than half of employees are actively unengaged with their work. No matter how comprehensive you think your eLearning strategy is, you’re fighting a battle for your employees' attention.
Your team is likely busy with project deadlines, daily meetings, and keeping the lights on with their daily tasks. If you’re putting time on your team's calendar, you need to be sure you can capture and keep their attention.
Interactive eLearning provides the opportunity to engage your employees quickly and keep them invested in what you’re trying to teach them by offering opportunities for collaboration and mental stimulation.
How to make eLearning more interactive
Understanding how to make your eLearning interactive is the first step toward creating better content. But interactivity for the sake of having it isn’t enough. Designing the right interactive learning experience is key to your success.
Here are three places you can start on your journey to making your content more engaging.
1. Encourage open discussion
The quickest way to replicate an in-person learning experience is to encourage your employees to speak up during training.
Providing your team with a platform to discuss ideas and ask questions will not only help their understanding of the material but also encourage dialogue between your employees. This will lead to deeper conversations and better ideas.
One of the many ways you can accomplish this is with video conferencing software. These platforms often include chat features, polling functions, and even breakout rooms where smaller, more intimate discussions can be had between teammates. These can be used along with your interactive eLearning strategy to prompt your employees to engage with your content.
You can also build prompts into your eLearning strategy and call on employees to answer questions as a group. Simple questions that allow your employees to reflect on their own experiences and share their opinions will open up a world of opportunity. It also gives more reserved employees a chance to speak up and share, when they otherwise might not.
2. Gamify your eLearning
Gamification in education is one of the hottest new trends in the industry. Companies are now modeling their eLearning solutions after video games by providing employees the chance to earn points, score their progress on quizzes, and more.
It’s becoming so popular because it works. Giving your employees an objective or goal takes your training experiences from a boring slideshow to a fun and interactive experience.
You can gamify your eLearning experiences by:
Including progress quizzes, games, and progress evaluations
Offering gift cards or raffles for active participation
Creating eLearning content that can be clicked and engaged with
Splitting your team into smaller groups and encouraging teamwork
It might seem a bit juvenile on the surface, but think back to when you were in school. What motivated you to do well? Oftentimes, the opportunity to compete with classmates are the times students feel the most engaged with our learning.
Humans are naturally goal-oriented and enjoy a bit of competitive fun. Giving your employees an objective, a goal, or a prize to be won can stir up a bit of curiosity and greater learning opportunities.
3. Ask for feedback regularly
The importance of feedback for employee growth is well documented, but feedback is a two-way street. Just as you would give feedback to your employees, you should be open to receiving feedback from them. This is especially important when you begin rolling out new training or eLearning for your team.
Understanding what your employees enjoy and find valuable will help you design coursework that fits their needs. This will lead to higher engagement, satisfaction, and knowledge retention. It’s a win-win all around.
After any new training, send a quick survey out to your employees asking them their opinion.
Here are some questions you can ask your employees about their eLearning experience:
Which eLearning module was your favorite and why?
Which modules did you find the most valuable? Which did you not enjoy?
Do you feel more knowledgeable about this subject after our training?
What’s one thing you’ll take away from this experience?
Is there anything else we can do to improve your eLearning experience?
Collecting your employees’ answers in an organized way is just as important as asking the right questions. If you haven’t already invested in a survey software, you should explore your options. Survey software allows you to create and customize questionnaires. Gather, report on, and archive response data, and share results seamlessly within the platform.
This step is not required; an email blast and a spreadsheet could work just as well. But the larger your company is the more difficult employee surveys are to manage without the right technology.
And the best part is that there are plenty of survey solutions that fit any business size, from small businesses to enterprise-level companies, there’s a survey software out there that will fit your needs.
Pros of interactive eLearning
There are obvious pros and cons with interactive eLearning, the most obvious among them being that interactivity keeps your employees engaged longer. But that’s not the only perk for implementing a more robust eLearning strategy.
Provides better, more comprehensive learning
You might assume your current employee training strategy is pretty solid, but you’d be shocked to learn just how lackluster employee education has become.
of employees don’t feel their current training opportunities meet their needs.
Interactive eLearning provides a comprehensive strategy that involves your employees from the very beginning by encouraging participation and feedback. This helps them feel more engaged and get more out of their training sessions than they might otherwise.
eLearning simulations that don't put an emphasis on interactivity can often exclude learners who work best by doing things. Adding the option to learn through modules and exercises ensures these learners aren't left behind.
When you diversify your training to include interactive eLearning, you have a better chance of reaching more of your employees where they’re at by giving them the tools they need to succeed.
Encourages team collaboration
When you create an eLearning experience that relies on team participation, you’re opening your team up to opportunities to collaborate. This is one of the most underutilized aspects of interactive eLearning.
Your employees will always be able to provide unique experiences and perspectives to any training if given the opportunity. Open up a dialogue and allow space for team members to discuss their ideas and you’ll be amazed by what comes out of these conversations.
Cons of interactive eLearning
There are countless pros to making your eLearning content more interactive, but that’s not to say there aren’t a few cons. Interactive eLearning isn’t a magical one-fix solution.
There are some struggles you’ll still have to overcome when using an interactive eLearning strategy.
Limited attention span
It doesn’t matter how stellar your eLearning content is, your employees only have a limited attention span. Creating an eLearning course that is too long or too complicated will have your employees mentally checking out after a certain point.
You can combat this by keeping your training short or breaking longer training up into multiple sessions.
You know the saying, too much of a good thing is bad. The same can be said for interactive training. Knowing how to strike the right balance between hands-on modules and delivering information in a straightforward way can be tricky.
Try to limit your interactive modules to about three to five per training session. This gives your team the chance to engage with the content and gives them time for a brain break between sessions.
Interactivity can’t outpace bad content
The actual content of your eLearning sessions is more important than anything else. If your training isn’t actionable and relevant for your employees, no amount of gamification or quizzes can fix that.
You need to ensure the content you’re delivering is valuable to your team. Don’t create training just to check off a box, do it because it will help your employees grow as professionals.
Keep your content fun!
Above all else when creating your eLearning strategy, have fun with it. Providing an experience that stimulates emotions and intellect will have a tremendous impact on your team. Be open, be creative, and always accept feedback to push your employee training to the next level.
Now that you know how to make your eLearning interactive, find out how you can apply these methods to your virtual classroom.
Lauren Pope is a Content Marketing Manager at Oracle and a former content marketer at G2. You can find her work featured on CNBC, Yahoo! Finance, the G2 Learning Hub, and other sites. In her free time, Lauren enjoys watching true crime shows and singing karaoke. (she/her/hers)