The advances in technology in recent decades have drastically changed the way we live today. Visits to the clinic are increasingly being replaced by telemedicine, allowing doctors and patients to interact virtually without being in the same physical room, with companies such as Teladoc and MyDoc coming to mind. Technology has lowered the barriers to entry in investing, with investors now able to invest using their smartphones quickly and cheaply.

The way that we learn has changed similarly. Learning is not exclusively the domain of classrooms and lecture theaters anymore, with an increasing amount of learning conducted using technology e.g. learning platforms, online classes, etc. 

The way we entertain ourselves has also drastically changed as a result of the improvements in technology. Watching a movie used to mean checking out screening timings, making sure there were seats available, traveling down to the cinema, watching 15-20 minutes of ads before being able to finally start the movie. If you missed the screening period or a particular movie wasn’t available in your country, you would have to wait for the DVD to get released or hope that it eventually makes it to scheduled TV programming. Nowadays, the abundance of on-demand streaming services makes it possible for us to watch virtually any movie, tv-show, or documentary at our convenience. Want to binge-watch 16 hours of Game of Thrones? No problem. Want to watch a documentary on your commute on your mobile device? That works too.

With a wide variety of media readily available, it can become a challenge for eLearning content creators to design content to be as attractive as the readily-available entertainment options, which can compete for a user’s attention span. In this post, I’ll share 3 tools you can use to enhance your eLearning content to improve engagement for your online learning program.

1. Graphics

Using graphics appropriately can improve the quality of your eLearning content. A blog post by SHIFT eLearning lists several advantages of using visuals over text, most notably better recall, improved transmission, and improved comprehension. With that being said, how can you use graphics to increase your content engagement? Firstly, the graphic you display must be contextualized to the content and the user. For instance, if you’re presenting data with multiple variables and outcomes, a graph would probably be a better option than listing the data out on bullet points in an image. 

Secondly, any graphic you show needs to be visually appealing to your audience, helping to captivate their attention immediately. In addition to being appealing, your graphic also has to make sense. Here’s a post by 99designs with some examples of designs that may not have been thought through properly.

Our team has used Piktochart and Canva to create the graphics we need, and both of these platforms have free courses on how to best utilize their products. If you’re looking for stock photos for your content, Unsplash and Pexels and two great sources which allow you to use the photos freely, whether for personal or commercial purposes.

2. Videos

Another way to improve user engagement with your eLearning content is to incorporate videos. There are several benefits of using videos to deliver learning as compared to text. An example of incorporating videos into eLearning is to use animated explainer videos to break complicated concepts or processes down or demonstrate concepts using scenarios. Additionally, using animated videos is a good way to improve the appeal of your content, especially if the subject matter is dry. If you need to demonstrate a walkthrough on how to use a specific platform as part of a course, it’s a no-brainer that a video far surpasses text and images.

If you’ve got the resources, filming and editing an instructor-led course can be a great one-off investment to deliver your learning content. A great example would be Udemy, where creators rely heavily on videos to deliver course content.

There are plenty of video tools available in the market, but if you’re new to content creation, here are some low-cost options for you to consider.

Animated Video Creation

Video Editing Tools


3. Knowledge Checks

The third tool you can use to enhance your eLearning content is knowledge checks. These refer to portions of your eLearning where users have to demonstrate their understanding e.g. multiple-choice questions, fill-in-the-blank questions, matching questions, etc. Knowledge checks require user input, which prevents passive consumption of whatever course a user is trying to pick up.

More importantly, knowledge checks make use of something called Retrieval Practice, otherwise known as the Testing Effect. Essentially, repeated testing on a subject matter improves recall of said subject matter, which is the ultimate goal for learners. On SmartUp, we use single and multiple choice quizzes, which also tie into our points system, making use of gamification to enhance learner engagement. For more tips on how to use the Testing Effect in your eLearning content, check out this guide.

Are you looking to improve the engagement of your eLearning content? Get in touch with our content team here to see how we can help.