Quiz Style eLearning Interactions

eLearning instructional design has different challenges and advantages than instructor-led training. Interactions are limited to the learner interacting with keyboard and mouse functions, and you have to shift your thinking of how an interaction is executed. eLearning design can be a challenge for those of us who spend most of our time designing instructor-led training. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be covering various eLearning interactions and how to incorporate them into your eLearning courses.

Before I get too far down the rabbit hole, let’s go over some basics of eLearning. As I mentioned, there is a limited number of ways to interact with the content. We have mouse interactions (buttons, hover, and drag) and we have keyboard interactions (type your answer or use keystrokes to navigate). The keyboard isn’t my favorite for eLearning as most development tools aren’t smart enough to read what is typed and process it well enough to give the learner helpful feedback. That leaves us with buttons, hovers, and drag interactions. Now the challenge is developing engaging courses with only three types of interactions.

These interactions aren’t as limiting as they sound, and there are a lot of advantages we have that aren’t present in instructor-led training. One advantage is eLearning is targeted at training one person at a time. They get to have a personal experience as they interact with the content. The interaction we are looking at today takes advantage of that feature.

Rapid fire quizzes where the learner has limited time to select an answer to several questions in a row is a great opportunity to challenge learners and get them thinking about the content. These types of quizzes are not graded, and the learning comes from the feedback. The questions are not tricky or challenging because you want learners to quickly use their instinct to select an option.

Let’s look at an example:

For most learning and development professionals it takes, on average, a full workday to develop a one-hour presentation.

  1. Yes, that is correct
  2. No, it takes less
  3. No, it takes more
  4. I am not sure

Feedback: According to our surveys, it takes more than a day to create an engaging one-hour presentation. However, with Soapbox that time can be reduced dramatically.

I typically have three to five questions in a row, with a timer that counts down and influences them to choose an answer quickly. As you can see, most of the learning happens in the feedback and we are working to change their first reaction to something new. By the end of the quiz, they should start to select the correct answers with a decent amount of accuracy.

Rapid fire quizzes are not assessments, which is a gauge what the person learned during the course. These quizzes should be tied to an objective because the participant is learning something during these interactions.

Do you see an opportunity for rapid-fire quiz interactions in an upcoming training? Let’s talk about that and your thoughts on these types of interactions in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “Quiz Style eLearning Interactions

  1. Quiz-type questions with feedback to deliver or reinforce learning, eh? Let’s see how this approach stacks up to what research demonstrates are elements of effective adult learning. Effortful retrieval—encouraging the learner to produce the correct answer rather than just telling her the correct answer—is good practice. Speaking of practice, distributing practice over time—rather than flooding the learner with information all at once—is essential to supporting the process of learning and differentiates “teaching” from “learning.” And providing feedback to learners—to help them see when they’re doing well or what they need to continue to work on improving—allows learners to build increasingly sophisticated level of understanding on topics (and correct misperceptions). Looks like quiz-type questions stack up well! They support effortful retrieval, can be delivered over days or weeks without significant burden to the learner, and provide excellent opportunities to strengthen learning with feedback. I’m a huge fan of these types of questions and enjoy dispelling the notion that multiple-choice questions are too simplistic to support learning effectively. Thanks, Heather, for sharing your thoughts!

    • What a nice assessment of quiz-type questions with feedback, Mark! Thank you for your summary supporting this approach. I look forward to your thoughts on other types of eLearning approaches we will be discussing over the coming weeks.

  2. Thanks Heather!
    I struggle a great deal with this. What is really engaging and what is just annoying? I would love to challenge a bit more but it does seem that the buttons, hover, and drag limit the challenge. Currently it seems like the “engagement” is really being perceived as just plain annoying. We went from a reading of regulatory grabble to every other slide of material has to be clicked and popped. 🙂

    • That is the million dollar question, Jace. It is like gamification; adding it to training just because your CTO went to a conference and is excited about it, isn’t a good enough reason to gamify a training. Interactions must add value, but that value isn’t always simple to see. I see teams go down a rabbit hole quite often because they had a really good idea at the beginning of design, and then it grows and grows and becomes something that doesn’t resemble the thing they set off to do. See the Knowing When to Let Go post on this blog of a great example of me doing this exact thing. I think most of us have done it at some point.
      At Endurance Learning, our approach to training is to provide information to the learners and then give them a way to interact with that information. The way I know it is working is when they don’t seem to realize we are making them interact. It is more of a “hmm, I wonder what happens if I click this or situate it this way”. How do you know you are executing that? Pilots are the ideal way if you have the resources.
      Stay tuned over the next few weeks, I am going to keep going on some ideas that make eLearning interactions engaging and not just annoying. Reach out directly to me if you have any questions in the meantime.

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