Does your eLearning strategy include all the essentials? Is there enough interactivity to keep your audience engaged? In this article, I’ll highlight 9 types of eLearning activities to include in your next eLearning course design.
9 Types of eLearning Activities to Consider When Designing Your eLearning Course
Successful eLearning courses include a vibrant mix of eLearning activities that cater to different learning preferences, from online discussions that build teamwork skills to interactive problem-solving scenarios. All of these strive to immerse online learners in the environment and help them truly connect with the eLearning content. Below are 9 quintessential eLearning activities that you should include in your eLearning course design.
Q&A sessions are synchronous learning activities which bring online learners together. They allow online learners to get answers to any unclear sections or questions that hinder their progress. Q&A sessions are carried out in eLearning blogs, and social media groups. Online learners are able to ask questions and actively engage with their peers. One question leads to another, thereby expanding the pool of knowledge among online learners. However, they also allow online learners to deepen their comprehension of the topic and receive direct support from online instructors/facilitators.
Branching scenarios aid asynchronous self-paced learning. They enable online learners to use their knowledge and problem-solving skills to tackle real-life situations. For example, instead of merely asking an employee how to handle a customer complaint, they interact with a customer persona. Thus, they must use their skills and experience to resolve the issue and avoiding conflict. Branching scenarios prepare online learners for the everyday obstacles they are likely to encounter in the work environment. At the same time, they break down the monotony of reading notes by incorporating realistic encounters.
Serious games add a fun and dynamic element to your eLearning experiences. They range from simple puzzles to complex, immersive games. They also cater to a broad range of learning preferences, since both visual and audio eLearning activities are integrated into the eLearning course design. The idea behind serious games is to motivate through quests, badges, rewards, as well as performing tasks correctly to achieve goals. However, the primary goal is not to entertain, but to reinforce favorable behaviors.
Online learners assimilate information more effectively when they can see the skills or knowledge in action. A real-world example helps them connect the dots and determine how the subject matter can benefit their lives or allow them to overcome a common problem that hinders goal achievement. For instance, the real-world example features an employee who uses his communication and conflict resolution skills to diffuse a disagreement between co-workers. Case studies are another way to contextualize the information so that online learners can use it in real-world environments.
In most cases, video demos feature step-by-step walkthroughs or product highlights. Online learners are able to observe the desired behaviors or skills in action and mimic them in the real world. Demos also allow them to identify areas for improvement. For example, they realize that they’ve been missing a step in a complicated work process, or that they’ve misinformed customers about a product’s specs or usage instructions. Video demos tend to be the most effective delivery method. However, you can also use eLearning infographics, online training tutorials, and other interactive formats to model the behaviors. In some cases, cartoons are a viable option.
- Online Discussions
It is humanly impossible for online learners to meet in a coffee shop or classroom and hold group discussions. However, this does not rule out the possibility of holding group discussions online that facilitate peer-based interactions. Virtual brainstorming sessions permit online learners to tackle topics and challenges from their devices via eLearning blogs, online discussions, and social media groups. You may want to have a moderator on hand to ensure that everyone stays on topic and respects the viewpoints of others.
- eLearning Assessments
No course is complete without eLearning assessments to evaluate learner performance and progress. Start with a pre-exam to gauge how much they know and their level of comprehension. Then conclude every eLearning module or activity with a follow-up online assessment to identify how much they’ve learned and how they should move forward. For example, additional skills they need to acquire or sections they should revisit to clarify misunderstandings. eLearning assessments also allow you to pinpoint areas of the eLearning course that need some work, such as modules that cause cognitive overload and don’t help online learners assimilate the takeaways.
Simulations are another type of eLearning activity that imparts real-world experience minus the risk. For example, online learners complete a virtual task using all the skills, knowledge, and resources they have at their disposal. Thus, they are better equipped to handle challenges that arise in the workplace and improve their job performance. The secret to successful simulations is immersion. Online learners must feel like they’re part of the action, not merely passive observers. Include realistic images, sounds, and dialogue to form an emotional connection and make it more relatable.
- Social Learning Opportunities
This is an umbrella term that covers a broad range of eLearning activities, including group collaboration projects and social media debates. You can even start a closed group so that online learners feel more comfortable sharing their thoughts and feedback. Another social learning opportunity that is often overlooked is webinars. These live events give online learners the chance to ask questions in real time and engage with their peers, which can eliminate feelings of isolation and loneliness that many remote learners experience.
These eLearning activities are interactive, immersive, and engaging. They help online learners assign meaning to the eLearning content and determine how it applies in real-world situations. However, it’s by no means an exhaustive list. Research your audience to learn as much as you can about their expectations and needs. Then figure out which online training tools support the desired behaviors and outcomes.
Do you know what your adult learners need to achieve their goals and tackle everyday challenges? Are you looking for ways to keep your adult learners engaged during your eLearning course? Talk to one of our performance strategists to find ways to engage and motivate busy adult learners. Reach out now for a personalized consultation.