eLearning design guidelines
eLearning uses electronic technologies to access curriculum outside a traditional classroom. That shift brings some challenges. Without in-person interaction it’s easy to lose your audience if the material you provide consists of just text and images. eLearning content should therefore be as interactive as possible.
Furthermore, with the advent of mobile technologies people are consuming content in smaller chunks, leading to shorter attention spans—or at least less tolerance for lengthy content. eLearning content should therefore be as short as possible while still achieving and reinforcing learning objectives.
The 4Forward-eLearnza team uses interactivity to engage the learner, reinforcing key content and preparing them for the rest of the course. Examples include exercises where a learner performs an action (e.g., clicks to reveal an answer) or needs to think (e.g., responds to a multiple choices quiz).
By using interactive exercises, the 4Forward team will ensure that your learners become active participants—rather than passive spectators—in the learning process. The result will be more effective knowledge transfer and increased retention.
Our team will design and develop two main types of interactive eLearning exercises:
- Free-form: used throughout a module to help the learner remember content just presented
- Form-based: typically used at the end of a module to test the learner’s knowledge
Levels of interactivity
You will face constraints—budget, learner time, and type of content. It’s important to clarify all three. One of the key considerations affecting budget is the level of interactivity. Higher levels of interactivity require more time to develop, and are therefore more costly. There are three levels of interactivity, with some overlap:
The three levels
- Level 1: page-turner. Think of this as a slide presentation with navigation. There are few or no interactive exercises at this level.
- Level 2: moderate interactivity. At this level there are intermittent interactive exercises, say every 6-7 slides, straightforward assessments, and (possibly) an audio track
- Level 3: extensive interactivity. Here is where you experience frequent and immersive interactive exercises that may include simulations, role playing, branching exercises, and animated or live action video.
We can design eLearning interactivity into your project using free-form or form-based exercises. Scroll down to see some examples, and the usual level of interactivity for each.
Pick one (Level 2)
A multiple-choice question with only one correct answer. You can use text and/or objects—pictures, characters, shapes, buttons—as answer choices.
Pick many (Level 2)
A multiple-choice question with multiple correct answers. You can use text and/or objects—pictures, characters, shapes, buttons—as answer choices.
Flip the card (Level 2)
Cards with a question on one side then flip to reveal the answer on the opposite side. Cards can contain text, images, and photos.
Text entry (Level 2)
Create fill-in-the-blank assessments. You can add multiple text-entry fields to a single slide, but only one can be evaluated in an assessment.
Hover/tooltips (Level 2)
Learn more about objects on screen by hovering the mouse over top. Note: this functionality does not work on mobile devices.
Click-to-reveal (Level 2)
Allows the learner to select an area on the screen to reveal contents “underneath.”
Drag and drop (Level 2/3)
A list of pictures, shapes, characters, or text boxes that can be dragged to complete a task. They can be matching or sequencing exercises.
Dynamic feedback (2/3)
Feedback provided after a question has been answered. It can be a simple “correct/incorrect” highlighting the correct response, or more extensive, for example by suggesting review topics.
Hotspot (Level 2/3)
Interactive assessments with one or more hotspots. Hotspots can for example be created within maps images, or software screenshots.
Quiz branching (Level 3)
For a wrong answer, asks a follow-up question to clarify a misunderstanding, or reviews the part of the lesson where the information was first presented.
Pass/Fail and Scoring (Level 2/3)
This feature assigns a required value for the learner to pass and proceed. You can also assign scoring weights to each question based on importance or complexity.
Video pop-ups (Level 2/3)
Embedded pop-up video players that allow the learner to explore content in more depth
Matching (Level 2/3)
Options (images, text) on opposite sides of the screen, select 2 to correctly match-up
Memory (Level 3)
Shows a series of images or text. The learner is asked to recall where they are located. Note: you can combine Matching and Memory together.
Shortcut keys (Level 3)
Answer questions by pressing a key or combination of keys on the keyboard. Use shortcut-key questions for software training, math questions, language skills, or adding game elements. Note: this functionality does not work on mobile devices.
Carousel (Level 3)
Allows the learner to scroll (up/down or right/left) through a series of items. Note: you can combine with Click-to-Reveal to provide additional information.
Branched scenarios (Level 3)
Also known as “Adaptive Branching” or “Choose Your Own Adventure” interactivity. Allows for customized content paths that makes sense for individual learners, and/or self-directed exploration and learning through a scenario to a variety of potential conclusions.
Timeline (Level 3)
Interactive exercises in which the learner discovers—or is challenged to sequence—events on a timeline using various intervals (minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, etc.)
Question banks (Level 3)
Create more questions than a quiz needs so that learners who take the quiz multiple times aren’t asked the same questions. (e.g., create 25 questions for a 5 question quiz). Note: you can randomize the order in which the questions are presented to the learner.
Beyond those already mentioned above, there are other form-based assessment exercises, including—
- True/False – Level 2
- Fill-in-the-Blank – Level 2
- Matching Drop-down – Level 2
- Sequence Drop-down – Level 2
- Numeric – Level 2
- Word Bank – Level 3
There’s also a wide range of form-based survey options—
- Likert Scale – Level 2
- Pick One – Level 2
- Pick Many – Level 2
- How Many – Level 2
- Which Word – Level 2
- Short, Medium or Long Answer – Level 3
- Ranking Drag-and-Drop – Level 3
And here’s what you get, in every project…
- User-friendly, responsive design, functioning in any browser and on any electronic device (laptop, desktop, smart phone, tablet)
- All content SCORM (Sharable Content Object Reference Model) compliant
- All pages compliant with WCAG 2.0 Level A/AA, and compliant with accessibility legislation (e.g., Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act—AODA)
- Post project support
4Forward has completed several projects for Tourism HR Canada, including instructor guides, workbooks, eLearning content, orientation kits, and guidebooks. These projects have included learning blueprints, content capture, development of assessment strategies, and creative content development. The work produced in these projects is being used by thousands of learners in all regions of Canada."
— Jason Gourley, Former Program Manager
Tourism HR Canada
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