What is interactive learning?

Interactive learning has shifted the boundaries between teacher and student, presenting both challenges and opportunities in the way learners learn.

Interactive learning is the process of two people or things working together and influencing each other.

When developing interactive learning experiences for professional adult learners, taking an approach that incorporates social interaction and technology throughout their everyday activities and job goes a long way in driving their engagement.

Thanks to the rise in the number of millennials in the workforce, there has been a shift to include more technology in the facilitation of learning. And this shift presents an enormous opportunity to enhance the way the corporate world learns.

How technology is changing corporate learning

Combine the classic ways of learning with interactive technology and—magic! You now have an amazing learning experience that allows you to scale your learning, maintain consistency, and lower costs overall.

Scaling your learning

No longer do you need to bring teams to corporate headquarters for training sessions that pull them out of the field and away from their main focus. Through technology, say, a mobile app, you can reach learners and team members that are spread across geographic locations. 

Maintaining consistency

Not only has technology allowed us to scale learning to people in multiple locations, but it has allowed the content to stay consistent. When multiple trainers teach the same material in front of different audiences, they are bound to employ different ways of teaching and articulating the information. Technology eliminates these discrepancies and allows for consistent training across the board, no matter the location or language.

Lower costs overall

When we look at the two instances above, we see that technology is helping drive down overall corporate learning costs. It’s eliminating the costs associated with hiring in-person trainers, travel to and from training, and loss of revenue from pulling employees away from their primary functions.

Blending technology and learning for awesome interaction

Beautiful performance occurs with the right mix of technology and a relevant learning style. Below are several ways to blend technology and interactivity to construct amazing, elevated learning experiences.

1. Call and Response

Technology ups the game on interactive learning experiences when it comes to traditional call-and-response learning, a type of assessment in which you pose a question to the audience and ask for a response. Below are some ways to combine technology and what works about call-and-response in corporate learning.


Self-assessments are a great way for learners to test their knowledge and get a baseline of their understanding before jumping into a course or at the conclusion of a course.

Knowledge checks

Knowledge checks allow learners to test their knowledge as they go through a course. At the end of a section or in-depth explanation, they can do a quick check to see if they’ve understood the lesson. This could be through drag-and-drop, click-and-reveal, or some other type of interaction.

knowledge check example image


A more cumulative approach to call-and-response learning, and probably the most common. quizzes allow learners to test their knowledge on a section or course as a whole.

quiz example image

While not the most interactive of interactive learning, self-assessments, knowledge checks, and quizzes within a course take traditional call-and-response to a new level by allowing learners to stay engaged in the learning directly on their device.

2. Self-Directed

Self-directed interactivity is often described as “bite-size” because it lets learners digest small amounts at a time while on the go. Self-directed learning allows learners to pull information themselves or jump into the learning when it’s most convenient and relevant to them.

On-demand learning

Thanks to the rise in mobile app usage, bite-size eLearning is easier to create and more readily available to learners. On-demand learning also allows learners to access the information whenever it’s necessary. Instead of sitting through an hour-long course on the features and benefits of a new product, learners can access that information when they’re in the field or with a customer.

on-demand learning example image

Custom training videos

Video is the fastest-growing learning technology, and it allows learners to stop and start a subject when they need to. Whether they’re learning a new concept from start to finish or just looking for a refresher, video is leading the way.

With over 80% of US adults now owning a smartphone, it makes sense to deliver learning on a mobile device and allow learners to pull necessary information when it’s needed. The beauty of using mobile apps in self-directed learning is that they can be as interactive and immersive or as simple and straightforward as you need them to be.

Self-directed learning goes a step further than call-and-response learning in level of interactivity, allowing learners to search out the material they want and need exactly when they want and need it.

3. Immersive

Immersive interactions are at the far end of the learning spectrum when it comes to interactivity level and have seen a huge boost in recent years (yes, you can thank to Pokémon GO and Google Glass for starting that). Immersive interactions allow a learner to use multiple senses to engage with content.

Augmented reality

Augmented reality (AR) is a type of technology that lets you overlay digital information on top of a learner’s environment—all in real time. The device used can be something as simple as a smartphone or as complex as Google Glass. Either way, it’s a semi-immersive learning experience.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR), on the other hand, is 100%immersive, allowing the learner to feel like they’re interacting with a completely different world. VR is a great learning method for highly technical or dangerous job types—think, surgeons or military fighter pilots.


While there are three types, or levels, of interactivity, the applications of each have many uses, depending on your learners and the results you’re hoping to achieve. Some uses call for only one interaction throughout the learning, while others may thrive from multiple. Deciding which are the best and most relevant to you and your learners requires a little bit of legwork up front, but the long-term benefits will present themselves over and over again, through increased knowledge retention, greater engagement, and overall happy learners.

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