Coming out of this pandemic, the last thing many of us want to do is sit in front of a screen to engage in more e-learning, zoom calls, or onscreen reading time. If you're in education like we are, you've seen searching for ways to keep things fresh and engage students in eLearning experiences. But, there are only so many tricks, tips, techniques on Zoom that you can utilize. Asynchronous learning is even tougher. We've certainly experienced course fatigue and students not completing the Behavioral First Responder course.
So what can we do?
Recently, we updated every Behavioral First Responder Module to a new, interactive and engaging platform. The idea behind this is to mirror the notion that, when you give a lecture or talk, you should engage the audience every 4-7 minutes in some way by breaking up the speaking. You can similarly think about e-learning. You want the learner to engage with the screen or mouse every few minutes, which draws their attention back to the course content.
Videos are probably the learning resources of the future. Need to know how to do something? You've probably just done a quick YouTube search for it and figured it out. Platforms like Linkedin Learning and Coursera are also setting the standard for video-based eLearning. Learners are likely to also retain more information from video than reading (1). But, video has some drawbacks, too, mostly for us as educators. Most notably, the need for skills with video creation and editing. Further, this takes a lot of time for us with busy schedules.
Free Resources: Davinci Resolve (free video editing), Videvo (free stock footage), (pro tip - use your phone and some duct tape for a camera)
To take it one step further, interactive videos are perhaps even more effective for interactive eLearning environments. You can use existing videos or create your own. Then insert notes, questions, or even have a discussion board going while the students engage in the video. If you're an instructor at a school, you can even have grades sync into your from your grade book.
Free Resources: Playposit, EdPuzzle
Finally, even if your course or information is text-based, using a platform to get the learner to click the screen to reveal information (think of advanced PowerPoint Slides) can help engage the learner and keep them focused. There are many platforms for this that you can use to create flashy questions, flip cards, clickable images, and the list goes on. For the Behavioral First Responder rebuild, we decided that a package was best for us and decided to use Articulate Storyline. However, this is a pretty costly option. However, these platforms are great ways to keep users on track and create an interesting and engaging eLearning course using a single software package.
Free Resources: H5P.org, ThingLink, Quizlet
In our rebuild of the BFR course, we learned a lot about eLearning course design and engaging students the best way we can. The truth is, there will never be a substitute for the human connections that form in an in-person experience for students. Nevertheless, that won't stop silicone valley from trying to achieve the same outcomes.
If you haven't checked out our rebuilt modules, head on over and take the FREE DEMO COURSE and let us know your thoughts. Have questions about building your eLearning course? Comment below!