6 Ways To Design Engaging eLearning Courses

6 Ways To Design Engaging eLearning Courses
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Summary: Imagine being at the receiving end of a dull, uninteresting eLearning course about a topic you couldn’t care less about. You take the entire course and by the end of it, what have you gained? Absolutely nothing because you could hardly stay awake through it, for starters.

How To Capture Your Readers’ Attention Designing Engaging eLearning Courses

As someone who designs eLearning courses, how do you ensure your content compels the reader to complete the course and derive value from it? We agree – it is no easy feat. While eLearning comes with several benefits, the biggest challenge is to compensate for the lack of human interaction and keep learners engaged, especially those who don’t function as well in a self-paced environment, which is the case in eLearning trainings. Here are the ways to capture your readers’ attention by keeping eLearning courses engaging.

Be Relevant

Information overdose is the biggest enemy of eLearning programs and is sure to get you flak. The key to keep your readers interested is by making your course relevant. Your goal should be to leave them with a meaningful experience and make it worth their time.

It is easy to get derailed and include jargons and unnecessary information while designing the course. The best way to not find yourself in such a situation is by defining a clear objective before you start designing. Ask yourself – what would you like the readers to achieve through this course and why should they invest time on it?

Once you have set a clear objective, it is easier to stay on track and focus only on sharing practical knowledge supported by strong analogies and examples.

Experiment With Design

If you thought content is the only thing that matters in eLearning courses, you are mistaken. The design you choose to incorporate is also an equally important ingredient. An effective design manages to strike a connection with the readers and capture their attention.

Design is not just about the colors and visuals you choose to incorporate, it is also about how you present the information in such a way that it speaks to the reader. For example, it is always advisable to break down data into subheadings, as opposed to using chunks of text to improve readability.

Another important design element that goes unnoticed is the ease of navigation. Your readers should be able to comfortably navigate through the course without getting stuck. Apart from ensuring engagement, a good design increases recall value. Which speaks volumes about the course.

Use Visual Elements

Did you know our brains process visual information 60,000 times better than text? Which is why people tend to remember 80% of what they see, compared to only 20% of what they read.

This is why using powerful visual elements in your eLearning course is sure to make it more engaging and appealing. Instead of writing paragraphs after paragraphs, why not use visuals smartly to present the same information. Images, graphs, and illustrations to infographics and videos – there are a host of visual elements that can be used to spruce up your course.

Make sure you use visuals appropriately for them to be effective. For example, if you are explaining a change in trends, you can use line graphs. Similarly, if you are writing about an instructional piece, why not use videos to explain it better?

Even while using images, make sure you choose relevant ones that add value to the piece, instead of just using stock imagery for the sake of it.

Keep It Interactive

Adding interactive elements enhances reader engagement and involvement. You allow yourself to go beyond one-dimensional courses and let the reader ‘interact’ with the program instead.

Some examples of effective interactive elements are allowing readers to click on images, zoom in and out and get more information by just hovering the cursor over it. You can also use 360-degree images to let them get a more holistic idea. Another example is the use of quizzes at the end of the course for self-assessment purposes.

In today’s social media-obsessed world, it is also a good idea to plug in social sharing buttons across the course, allowing people to share elements on their social media platforms and comment on them.

Include Realistic Scenarios

People learn best from examples and practical knowledge, which is why including realistic scenarios to reiterate aspects of your program is sure to get a better response and boost engagement.

Designing an effective eLearning course needs you to get creative, and turn on the storyteller in you. Spun a story, introduce characters and realistic scenarios to strengthen your course. What makes realistic scenarios tick is that they are hugely relatable, and people are able to understand and retain information better by drawing parallels.


Gamification is an emerging trend in the eLearning industry and takes the engagement level of your program to another level. When you guarantee fun, people are bound to engage better with your content, isn’t it? That’s exactly the underlying motive behind gamification.

While gamifying your course, ensure you strike a balance between the desired information you want to communicate and the fun element. You can present the challenge in the form of a game and have readers solve it by using the appropriate skills and knowledge they attained through the course of the eLearning program.