How do you make a learning hub interactive?

Rinke Huisman

You can make a learning hub interactive in various ways, but before you do so it’s important to know the difference between interactive and varied. 

Interactive literally means ‘going in both directions’. A communication process is interactive when the sender also becomes the recipient during the communication and the other way around. Interactive means you have influence on the result, a continuous interplay takes place. This is something else than when you’re learning hub is varied. An interactive learning hub means that the content you’re learning and how you’re learning it isn’t set in stone. Completely in line with the new culture of continuous learning the learning hub remains subjected to change. Don’t be afraid to apply change during an ongoing process, this only shows courage and quality.

By using the following tips you’ll be certain of the learning activities have the interplay between the users and what’s being learned (i.e. the content).

Video

Using videos in your learning hub doesn’t automatically make it interactive. Posting the videos alone isn’t enough. What can you do to make it interactive? 

  • Give a clear assignment beforehand. What should you look at and what will you do with that? You can do this by setting viewers questions, so the user starts the video with a goal in mind. 
  • In certain online academies you’ve got a tool to ask questions or post comments in your video. Ask an open question, a multiple choice question or post an observation! Pausing the video can be very powerful. You create time to think, to process the information or to  generate ideas. Moroever, you don’t give the answer right away.
  • Think of a process exercise you’ll post after they watched the video. Ask the users to make a summary for example of the content that was covered in the video, or let them record a video as a reaction to the video.

Brainstorm

When thinking of brainstorming you tend to think of a creative face-to-face session in which one generates ideas by means of post-its. The image of someone on their own behind a computer doesn’t look inviting in the first place, but there certainly are online alternatives. There are for example digital variations of the post-it sessions which you can integrate into your online learning platform. The tools Miro an Mural provide you with a whiteboard and you even have digital post-its on which you can write and you can post them wherever you want. You can also choose for a digital notice board such as Padlet. You can share all kinds of file forms with each other, texts, images, videos and interesting links. Of course you can also organise a video session in which you share ideas in a group. 


Did you know it’s better to brainstorm on your own in the first place? When five people brainstorm alone first, they’ll have more and better ideas than when this happens directly in the group. This happens among other reasons because people are more careful in groups with sharing their crazy ideas. On your own you aren’t directed in certain directions. Brainstorming online can thus be very effective. First give an assignment to do on their own and organise an exchange moment afterwards. 

Discussing

One thing that’s clearly interactive is a discussion. Online you’ve various possibilities to do this. You can let users discuss among each other, or one to one with a supervisor. Is it okay to concern the content of a specific assignment, or an umbrella theme? Would you like this in the shape of a forum, chat or during a live session? It’s good to think about this and to ensure that a place is created for this. When users know on what they can rely and with which aims, they’ll use it easier. Still a discussion doesn’t start by itself. You can stimulate this by asking a question or posting a triggering statement at the start. Of course, also by participating actively yourself and rewarding users for their input. The latter can for example be implemented by using a grade system in the online platform, but it’s even better when you act on the input of the users (as far as possible of course). Ensure that they feel heard. Is extra content needed for example, or is it needed to organise an extra live session? Keep in mind you should have a flexible attitude in this. Then, you make the most of the discussion.

Working together, learning together

Of course you also want to work together online, but with a full inbox with new versions of documents or replies to one another nobody will be happy. You want at least everyone to be able to work in the same document at your online platform, think of one drive. A tool such as Trello can also be very convenient when you’re working on a larger project. You can make your e-learning extra interactive when users can view each other assignments and when you organise for example various (intermediate) feedback loops. Learning together remains one of the most powerful ways to apply knowledge. Finally, also think of a place where the project group can meet. Sometimes tools such as Slack or Asana are used, but the chat feature within the learning platform is very easy to use. Don’t you work with project groups at all, but do you want your users to learn from each other? Create a reflection document in which everyone can share their learning experiences and can react with tips. 

Making learning visible

In the end, you want learning to become visible in the learning platform. Visible for the user, other users and possible supervisors. The various learning activities Hupber offers give a boost to the interaction possibilities and ensure a nice variation:

  • Text 
  • Video
  • Interactive video
  • Question
  • Document
  • Banner
  • Infographic
  • Audio
  • Exam
  • Submit assignment 
  • Learning playlist
  • Micro learning
  • Meetup
  • Podcast
  • Link
  • Definition cards
  • Reflection

And of course, you don’t share everything with everyone, some things remain confident.