7 Tips To Create Interactive Case Studies In eLearning

7 Tips To Create Interactive Case Studies In eLearning
Summary: Case studies emphasize real world applications and move knowledge from theory to practice. But do they really offer your online learners the interactivity and engagement they need? In this article, I'll share 7 ways to make your eLearning case studies more interactive and immersive.

How To Create Interactive Case Studies In eLearning

Case studies help online learners relate to the subject matter and see how it ties into real world situations. They feature facts, stats, and first person accounts that are supported by reliable sources. At the very least, they provide hypothetical situations that are based in reality. eLearning case studies drive the point home so that online learners connect with the eLearning content on a personal level. However, they aren't necessarily known for their interactivity. In fact, case studies usually appear as lengthy text blocks that cause cognitive overload. Fortunately, there are ways to add interactive elements to your eLearning case studies in order to boost active participation.

1. Create Branching Scenarios

Case studies involve real world decision-making, which makes them ideally suited for branching scenarios. Online learners must navigate situations that they might encounter in their real lives. Every choice leads them down a different path, which results in a specific outcome. Provide them with the necessary information before the branching scenario. Online learners have the opportunity to use their knowledge and skills to achieve the desired outcome. They can also see how certain behaviors lead to real world consequences. For example, the case study reveals that a particular group failed to reach their goal. Online learners have the power to take a different approach in order to remedy the issue.

2. Emotionally Connect With Compelling Stories

One of the major drawbacks of case studies is that they lack emotionality. Online learners aren't able to connect with the eLearning content, which prevents them from fully engaging. You can change this by framing your case study with a compelling plot and eLearning characters. People can relate to stories that reach them on an emotional level. They are able to put themselves into the role of the protagonist and watch how events unfold. In other words, data research is no longer just cold, hard facts. It's an immersive tale that illustrates a trend or showcases real world events that resonate with online learners.

3. Develop Interactive Online Presentations

Some online learners may need to see the case study in action. As an example, a video demo that walks them through the eLearning events, or puts the main issues into perspective. A historical case study presentation may include an interactive timeline and contextual backstory. Incorporate clickable hot spots that explore different aspects of the situation. For instance, one hot spot reveals more information about the group, while another contains a list of issues that may have contributed to the group's failure. Think of these resources as clues that help online learners solve the mystery and avoid making the same mistakes.

4. Turn Case Studies Into Immersive eLearning Simulations

Most case studies conclude with a problem that online learners must solve or discuss with their peers. Instead of just presenting them with the challenge, you can give online learners the opportunity to explore it on their own. Develop an immersive eLearning simulation around your case study and invite online learners to reenact the eLearning events. Then encourage them to come up with solutions that achieve the most favorable outcome. For best results, use realistic images and sound effects to mimic real world settings. This also helps online learners step into the role so that they can feel the emotions associated with the eLearning event.

5. Design A Story-Centered Serious Game

Serious games are engaging, interactive, and fun. In other words, they are a perfect eLearning vehicle for your case study. Online learners get the chance to progress through levels, find objects, and earn points. Each stage of the serious game highlights a different aspect of the trend or sequence of eLearning events. For example, the first level introduces the eLearning characters and sets the scene. The second poses the challenge that online learners must tackle in the subsequent levels. At the end, they can compare their solution to the one that actually occurred in the case study. Then they have the opportunity to compare both approaches to identify areas for improvement or personal strengths.

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6. Produce A Character-Driven eLearning Video

Create a memorable eLearning character or use one who personifies your case study. Then produce an engaging eLearning video for them to star in. Character-driven videos improve knowledge retention and recall, as online learners are able to go at their own pace. For example, online learners have the opportunity to pause the eLearning video in order to absorb key stats. Once they have assimilated the information and reflected on its implications, they can move onto the next screen. The main eLearning character can even narrate their story and draw online learners' attention to the discussion points. Or they can pose thought provoking questions that get online learners thinking about the eLearning events and challenges.

7.  Create An Image-Rich Infographic

Infographics are ideal complement for case studies, as they provide a visual representation of the key facts and ideas. Integrate images, graphs, and charts that illustrate the main takeaways of the case study. You can also include timelines to highlight trends or important eLearning events. There are a variety of stock photo sites that feature royalty-free images for your infographic. Just make sure that the visuals you choose are relatable and reflective of the subject matter. Lastly, focus on a few core issues to avoid cognitive overwhelm. You shouldn't illustrate every aspect of the case study, but the most pertinent pieces of data.

Case studies may not be the ideal solution for every eLearning course. However, you can make them more flexible and versatile by adding interactivity. This also gives you the power to appeal to different learning preferences. As such, you appeal to more online learners and enhance the benefits of your eLearning course.

Are you thinking about turning your case study into an interactive eLearning scenario? Read the article 6 Tips To Create eLearning Scenarios That Offer Real World Benefits to discover a few tips to create eLearning scenarios that offer real world benefits to every member of your audience.