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Instructional Design Series:
Interactive Engagement

By June 18, 2020No Comments

by Dr. Laurie Korte and Andrea Brevard

“Don’t just sit there…do something!”

After welcoming a user into the learning environment, Instructional Design utilizes a variety of strategies to invite the user to start learning. How those strategies are applied to different course elements makes the difference between a learner who mindlessly scrolls through a course and a learner who is actively engaged in a course. One of the core elements of Remote Learner’s Persuasive Design Strategies (PDS) is the LMS as a social actor in the learning experiences. Interaction is a critical element of all education, be it learner – teacher interactions, learner – learner interactions, learner – content interactions, learner – platform interactions or some combination of all of them. It all comes back to designing with the goal of engaging the learner through interaction.

Remote Learner’s Instructional Design Team creatively uses activities, resources, graphic elements, course formats, and other tools to maximize the impact on the learner. This interactive approach to Instructional Design brings Bloom’s Taxonomy to life.

Interactive engagement builds the foundational levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy: Knowledge, Comprehension, and Application. Within a course, interactive engagement refers to methods of presenting content that have learners making decisions, moving the mouse or tapping a screen, and seeing material at their own pace. Learners are active, which enhances what is remembered, understood, and applied as they are reading on screen.

In this blog, we highlight PDS-based interactive engagement designs that Remote Learner has used to create meaningful and memorable learning experiences for greater retention.

When learning new terms, context is a critical contributor to comprehension.

The original design on the left includes a PowerPoint slide deck for the user to download and browse.

The design on the right combines several slides into a single set of tab elements that simplifies navigation and provides context for the terms. Learners can browse the information at their own pace, moving back and forth between tabs to clarify the related terms.

Bonus! Instead of requiring a file download and additional software, all content is accessed directly within the LMS including links to related resources.

Allowing learners to browse information at their own pace, revealing new and reviewing related material with seamless navigation, reduces the cognitive load while increasing connection and retention.

If navigation is cumbersome, knowledge and comprehension can be hindered.

One of the key strategies of PDS is Reduction: if you make something simple to do, learners are more likely to do it. In the original design on the left, the SCORM presentation requires navigation to several pages to read through related information.

The design on the right combines the SCORM pages using an accordion to simplify navigation to the related details.

Bonus! While SCORMs require outside software development, the lesson module content can be updated directly within the LMS.

Simple navigation for related information strengthens learner retention.

When there is a significant amount of information, the presentation of the material has a significant impact on knowledge retention and reference.

The original design on the left presents the material on a long gray page with tables and links. This approach can have a negative impact on cognitive overload of the learner.

The interactive engagement design on the right incorporates Top Tabs with icons, color coding, and related images to present the same amount of information in a more manageable way for both learning the details and referencing specifics in the future.

It is advantageous to consider the presentation of information as a reference resource where learners can return and quickly recall what they learned.

For further examples of interactive engagement designs using Persuasive Design Strategies and Remote Learner’s eLearning INteractions (REIN) to present information, see Use REIN to Organize Content and Use REIN for Interactive Instruction.

Remote Learner’s Instructional Design Team has expertise and experience creating activities and resources that lead to stronger information retention. Contact Remote Learner to connect with our team of designers for consultation to revamp your activities and resources for a greater impact on your learners.