Using Effective Q&A Model To Create Engaging Custom eLearning Courses With Mini-Cases
Custom eLearning courses can be created using several strategies. In my experience, an effective strategy that works well is the Q&A model. In this article, I will share some ideas on how to use the Q&A model effectively in creating engaging custom courses.
How You Can Create Engaging Custom eLearning Courses
In my previous articles on custom eLearning solution, I have touched upon the storytelling strategy to create engaging custom eLearning courses. Another strategy that I have seen working quite well is the Question and Answer, or Q&A model. The Q&A model is not about formative assessments or using quizzes to teach. It is a method to help learners stay in the present moment and connect to the subject at hand.
The Q&A Model Explained
Unlike formative assessments that are asked at the end of a logical chunk of learning unit, Q&A model is used to elicit a response that can take the learning process forward. The beauty of this model is that it can be implemented right from the beginning of a course. Simply put, the strategy is to either ask rhetorical questions (questions that are leading in nature, like “do you agree that global warming is a serious concern for humanity?”) with responses either yes or no. We can also ask questions by providing input boxes, or questions with agree/disagree options.
The purpose of asking questions is to help learners be alert and constantly use their brain cells to understand the concept. Instead of the ‘clicking and learning’ kind of interactivities, we can use the ‘question and answer’ format. I am not suggesting in any way that we ask questions on every slide or in other words overdoing this strategy. I am suggesting that we use questions on occasions where it makes sense to help the learning process sharper.
Next, I will explain with a couple of examples in implementing this for custom eLearning solution.
Let’s say we are teaching the concept of gastroenteritis, or the flu, and how it affects the body. Instead of starting the lesson as to what the disease is, how it manifests, what its symptoms are or the remedies/cure of the disease, we can try asking a few questions. A question could be as simple as “what do you think are the symptoms of the flu?”. We then provide a checklist of options from which the learners can choose the ones that they think are appropriate. Then, we provide feedback saying that the options selected are not the only symptoms and there are some more which we will see later in the lesson.
This way, we are actively engaging the learner right from the beginning. In other words, we are not simply spoon-feeding the learner, but we are using questions to make them perform an activity that leads to better engagement.
Another example. Say, we are teaching about shock absorber oil for an automobile. Instead of saying what the oil is about, its benefits, and how it can help your car be in a good condition, we start with a short scenario of somebody not using shock absorber oil that caused problems to his vehicle. Then, we ask the learner a question “what you think could have prevented the failure, or what do you think is the main issue here?”. Instead of providing options, we can provide a blank input box where the learner can input their answers.
Then, we provide feedback on what could have caused the failure of the engine or how the issue could have been avoided by using shock absorber oil.
Let’s look at some case studies using the Q&A model for custom eLearning solution.
Case Study 1: Code Of Conduct
Generally, code of conduct or ethics and compliance courses can be boring to the learners. To make them interesting, we can use the Q&A model and have questions that pertain to their job. In this course, we used the Q&A model in several ways, such as combining scenarios with questions or providing a checklist of options from which learners can choose what they think as appropriate action in the given situation. We provide diagnostic feedback and help learner progress within the course.
Case Study 2: Active Listening
In this course, we used questions to help learners identify the right active listening behaviors. Instead of having straight click-and-learn, we asked questions to test their existing understanding of what constitutes active listening behaviors. This way, we helped learners think and apply their understanding well.
To conclude, in this short article, I showed how the Q&A model can be effectively used to create an engaging custom eLearning solution. Sometimes, we don’t really need to have a lot of click-and-learn or drag&drop activities that may make no sense or which, in other words, don’t take the learner through a meaningful learning path.
A simple question with a yes or no can be far more engaging than a complicated activity if it is framed well and flows well. The ultimate purpose of any learning content is to help the learner remember the content and apply it to their jobs.
With custom eLearning, the possibilities are many and that is why at Tesseract Learning, our ID strategists engage with Learning and Development managers to develop the perfect custom eLearning solution.
To learn more about how we are helping with impressive custom eLearning material, do reach out to me by writing to email@example.com.