eLearning provides an exciting opportunity for learners to engage with an interactive platform, acquire knowledge, and develop new skills. However, most eLearning is still stuck in the past, with pages and pages of texts and a multiple choice quiz to finish. There are so many more ways to have your learners interact with your eLearning content. One of these options is the use of interactive videos.
Video breaks down complex ideas into digestible bites that can be easily processed. It reduces the reading load for the learner, by presenting the content as engaging visuals. Video presents information using a narrative, allowing the learner to retain the content more effectively. Lengthy videos alone aren’t enough, as learners have limited attention spans. By using interactive videos, you can overcome this and maintain learners’ engagement.
Interactive videos transform the learning experience from one-way communication, to an exchange of information, with the learner taking on an active role. An interactive video incorporates a wide range of interactive elements directly into the video itself, including click to reveal, questions, hot spots, voting polls and many more. Any video can be made interactive, with almost limitless interactions, driving deeper engagement.
I’ve searched near and far for elements to incorporate into interactive videos, in the hope of making my eLearning content more engaging, interactive and visually appealing. I hope the following examples will highlight the possibilities of using interactive videos within eLearning, as well as delight and inspire you!
The linear structure of most eLearning courses prevents learners from moving onto the next section until you have completed the one you are in. Learners like to feel in control of their own learning; give them the freedom to decide the course of action, enable them to click to change the direction or narrative that the video is taking.
Coldplay’s “Ink”, is an interactive story, where viewers explore beautifully animated environments by making real-time choices throughout the video. With over 300 possible paths to take, each decision changes how the story unfolds. Not only is this a great example of learner lead interactions, but it also highlights the power of animation. Simple animations with audio are less costly than filmed videos, yet they convey the content just as well (if not better).
When building a learner lead menu, the usual protocol is to present a list of topics and allow the learner to choose the order in which they visit the different sections.
Menus do not have to take this ‘Table of Contents’ approach. You can be inventive with layout and the visuals that you use for each section, like in Seven Digital Deadly Sins. This is also a great example of a dialogue approach to learning. It not only presents the learner with information, but also gains insights from the learner through a series of live voting polls. Seven Digital Deadly Sins is not only acting as a learning resource, but a data recovery tool as well.
When developing the content for interactive videos, it is important to frame it around your audience’s perspective.
What is your message? Who are you aiming it at? What settings or backdrop may you want to include?
Learners tend to respond better to real life situations. This interactive Obamacare video takes learners on a first-person adventure to explore how America’s health-care overhaul will affect them. The video is filmed from the learner’s perspective and is set in environments that are familiar to people from all different walks of life. It also incorporates click-to-reveal content to supplement the narrative, giving the learner the choice to just get an overview or drill down for deeper knowledge.
Deloitte takes an interesting approach to a recruitment video using gamification to educate potential candidates about the company’s culture in an innovative, novel and interactive way.
By clicking on choice points within the video, viewers get to walk in the shoes of a new Deloitte employee and decide their course of action. Whether they are right or wrong, the course of action is played out and followed by feedback on how well the learner did.
Feedback provides a moment in which you can offer valuable information without distracting from the main message. When you write feedback, be sure to explain what the correct answer is and why it is correct. Keep it concise: you want to reinforce the knowledge without tiring out the learners.
We all want to create great eLearning that really speaks to our learners. One way to do this is by creating realistic scenarios, with real life implications. This can be an effective and safe way of ensuring that your learners have taken on board crucial content, before applying their new knowledge in the real world.
Lifesaver is a revolutionary new way to learn CPR through interactive video. The learners have to react to intense simulations in a limited amount of time. Timed activities engage learners and focus their attention. In the case of Lifesaver, the time limit stresses the importance of acting fast in life threating situations.
Effectiveness, consistency, and ability to perform are evaluated and recorded throughout the simulations. At the end of each section, learners can track and share their scores. By providing instant feedback, Lifesaver helps learners to assess their own development and see where they can improve.
Videos can instantly become more engaging by the inclusion of interactions. Authoring tools like Articulate Storyline make this possible, containing templates that can be inserted within the video to make it interactive, such as click-to-reveal information, quiz questions, feedback, hotspots, drag and drop, sliders…the list goes on!
Interactive video eLearning has the ability to yield increased learner engagement and retention, therefore increasing learner performance and growth. I find the use of interactive videos in eLearning so exciting: the possibilities for its application are endless! So, have a go at using interactive videos in your eLearning. And let us know in the comments section if you find any other cool examples!