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2016 is here and it’s set to be an amazing year for elearning with mobile, video and gamification all trending.

Whether you’ve resolved to finally get your first course out to the world with a bang, or make big improvements to your existing programme, these simple and practical tips will set you in the right direction!

1) Game-based learning

Think learning through play is just for kids? Think again! A dose of fun can get your learners engaged and talking about your course in ways normal content just can’t. Whether you choose to turn your whole course or just part of it into a game, you’re sure to see engagement levels soar.

Get started: Inventing a game from scratch can take time, so start by thinking of a game that already exists and adapting it to your content. Think about video games, game shows on TV or even board games. Could that standard quiz at the end of your course work with a ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire’ style? Would your learners appreciate climbing up a ladder in Snakes and Ladders as a way to progress through your course?

2) Gamification

You could be forgiven for thinking that we just covered this, but there is a subtle difference between games and gamification. Where games based learning is turning your content into a game, gamification is the use of game mechanics within your existing content to drive engagement. Think about what keeps you coming back to that video game and apply it to your elearning.

Get Started: Basic gamification elements can include scores and leader boards, badges for achievement (individual or team) and freedom to explore your course, perhaps for hidden information or rewards. Take things further by introducing levels, a story that runs throughout your course and time trials.

3) Mobile Learning

The explosion of smartphones and tablets over the last few years means that modern e-learners expect to be able to take courses on the go. If your courses have been built in Flash and you haven’t converted them to a mobile friendly format then 2016 is without doubt the year to make changes.

Get Started: HTML5 has become the standard for e-learning that is available across all desktop and mobile devices. Unfortunately there is no easy way to simply convert flash based courses to HTML5. It’s time to bite the bullet and re-develop your courses. Using an authoring tool with an HTML5 output is likely to be the quickest way to do it.

You can take it further by creating a responsive course – one that delivers the same content but with the most appropriate layout for each device.

4) Interactive Video

Using video in your elearning course is nothing new, but adding interaction gives you a new dimension and keeps your learner alert in what would otherwise be a passive piece of content.

Get Started: Layering hotspots over your videos is a simple but effective way to get some interaction into your videos. Try using them to label key items in the videos so learners can find out more about them.

Another great way to get some interaction in is to pause the video at a key point and ask the learner a question – ‘what would you do next…’ type of questions work really well here. Once the learner has answered it the video continues and shows them the correct answer.

5) Scenario-based exercises

The idea of using scenarios in elearning has been around for a while, but developers are still shying away from using them because they feel it is too complicated or will take too long. These super effective interactions allow learners to choose their own path through a course, making decisions as they go and understanding the consequences of their decisions.

Get Started: It’s true, some scenarios can be complex. If you’re worried then start with something simple! Basic scenarios are just a series of multiple choice questions, with each option in the questions leading the learner in a different direction. Start with two answers, one right (which allows them to continue through the course) and one wrong (which leads them to a dead end).

Once you feel confident start allowing the wrong answer to lead down a new path rather than a dead end, perhaps even add some options that aren’t great but aren’t wrong either to add another dimension.

In conclusion

With more possibilities than ever to engage your learners, 2016 is the year to create some amazing elearning! I’d love to hear what you are planning, tweet me @trainingbricks to let me know!

Ps. If your elearning tools are holding you back from upgrading your courses, why not book a demo of the Vivo elearning authoring tool?