One of my favorite e-magazine apps is ASTD’s TD magazine (Talent Development). What I love about it is my user experience with that app. TD gives me a variety of option on how to interact with the article and supplementary content that goes along with the article. It includes “bonus” graphs, data, stories, and excerpts that are available by selecting a pull out tab, or hitting a plus sign button. The amount of content facing me in any given moment is carefully and purposefully controlled, keeping the experience from being overwhelming. This includes traditional scrolling to reveal additional content, using page number buttons you click on, and even vertical and horizontal “sliding” between pages. Each article gives me a cubed-like experience within that article with plenty for me to explore before I move on to the next article. There is a natural incentive in wanting to explore and find.
So how could I mimic this experience in e-learning module development? I suppose the piece I want to mimic most is that feeling of “exploring” every nook and cranny of content presented to me rather than it being constantly pushed to me or presented in a linear fashion. Here are some challenges to consider.
Challenge 1: How to work with or get around the slide presentation mode of e-learning modules and not leave the learner feeling “lost” in the experience? Explore layering in creating a contained experience while giving the user that ability to explore content pieces in regard to that particular moment in the module. Explore using tabs or clickable symbols with supplementary content appearing as a pop-up to keep the user contained within that moment of the module. And what about podcasts embedded as an option for hearing interviews or stories relating to that module moment.
Challenge 2: How do you combine the power of e-learning modules to provide feedback and reinforce learning with content presentation power of the TD e-magazine app? At some point the learner must move away from a moment in a module. Explore prompts, timing ques, and even arrows and next buttons to lead the learner to opportunities for checking their knowledge and skill development. Explore gamification tied to the content of the module or event that moment in the module.
These ideas are early in my thoughts regarding how to blend module development, app technologies, and user content interactions and worth some more exploration. But I do see how combining these experiences can lead to a very effective and engaging user experience in the world of e-learning modules. As always, share your ideas and your experiences!