The Best Content Types to Engage Your Learners

Online learning is a constant battle for engagement. Learners are prone to distractions and being online means having access to any number of applications, all vying for their attention. Between social media apps and online learning platforms, we can all imagine where this attention ends up getting diverted. According to a survey of North American higher ed students, 78% of respondents say that online learning experiences are not engaging. 

Making engaging eLearning content requires a careful blend of different content types, coupled with good quality content curated specifically for your audience. Adding a variety of content ensures that your online course caters to audiences with different learning styles. At the same time, it prevents the course from becoming monotonous. 

In this article, we will share some of the most engaging content types you can incorporate into your online course. Without further ado, let’s get started! 

The Best Content Types to Engage Your Learners

Interactive Visuals

Adding digital video content helps break the monotony of online learning modules. Visual elements are generally better retained by learners. When made interactive, visual elements can increase learner engagement. 

Interactive videos usually include prompts where learners must answer quick questions by clicking on a button or typing out a short statement. Instructors can add another level of creativity by having the learners make decisions based on the scenario the video lays out for them.

Adding such interactivity ensures that the learners are paying attention and allows them to leverage their problem-solving skills. The resulting learning experience is much more effective overall. The learners are left feeling satisfied with their performance, especially if these interactions are followed by quick feedback.


Podcasts have recently become popular and for good reason. Being able to listen to interesting, even educational content is a refreshing change from having to spend screen time looking at the same information visually. Adding podcasts in online courses can make a similar impact on learners. 

Audio-based content allows students to keep up with their learning even when they’re on the go. Podcasts can also be made interactive by adding some reflection prompts along the way. Additionally, they can be accessed from any device and downloadable audio can also be played without an internet connection. This makes it easier for learners to keep up with the course material anytime, and anywhere.

AI Chatbots

Since the introduction of ChatGPT, instructors have found creative ways to incorporate AI in online learning. One possible way to do so is via chatbots. AI chatbots can leverage conversational AI to answer questions, provide information, or even quiz learners. It acts as an all-purpose learning aide, ready to help whenever prompted.

In eLearning, learners don’t receive as much one-on-one time with their instructors as they would in person. Chatbots can help fill in for the instructors. Bots can be trained to nudge students toward the correct answers without divulging them. Additionally, they help learners go over concepts, provide links to more resources, and give tailored feedback to students’ responses. 

Having access to a tool like this can help engage students and promote learning in conversational increments. AI chatbots have the potential to boost learner engagement significantly. 

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One of the most successful content types to boost student engagement is gamification. Gamification in eLearning leverages game design techniques and applies them to course content in a way that makes the courses fun and interactive. The gamified design incorporates the relevant learning objectives in a creative, hands-on way.

Typical gamification tools include leaderboards, certificates, badges, or a points-based contest. Like actual video games, these tools encourage a sense of competition amongst the learners and, when applied to meaningful challenges, foster creative thinking. The learners are motivated to perform better and learn a lot more than they would otherwise in the process.

Immersive Experiences

Using VR and AR technology, immersive learning experiences have the potential to transform learning experiences. These tools can be used to create virtual environments, created to imitate the real world. Though not commonly used owing to the expense, these technologies offer learners the opportunity to learn by experience, without fearing any real-world repercussions.

Immersive technologies offer the opportunity to get a rare glimpse into phenomena that are otherwise left to the learners’ imagination. These experiences can range from exploring historical events, outer space, or even subatomic particles. For more practical training purposes, these tools can be used to simulate real-life scenarios that learners are likely to face.

VR and AR provide students with the rare opportunity to directly be a part of the virtual learning environment. Learning cannot get any more engaging than this.

Create Engaging Online Content with Edly

One might think that learner engagement in online learning environments is harder to achieve when compared to in-person instruction. While that may be true, eLearning comes with a distinct advantage: the ability to incorporate multiple learning formats. Whether you want to incorporate AI chatbots, audio clips, or a gamified module into your course, all these options are only available online. With this advantage, an engaging online learning experience is possible.

It is important to consult instructional design experts when it comes to adding various content types and structuring your courses. Edly’s instructional design team can help you create the best learning experiences while keeping your learners engaged. Get in touch with us today or try our platform for free!

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