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By: Saskia Watts

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Blog > Creating interactive modules: Tips from Liz Smith: Teach Online Toolkit Week 10

June, 18, 2020 . 2 minute read

Creating interactive modules: Tips from Liz Smith: Teach Online Toolkit Week 10



Last weeks’ Teach Online Toolkit session summarised an extremely informative webinar with Aurelie Soulier titled Blended learning design: all the gear, no idea? .

Now you understand the basics of blended learning, what else should you keep in mind when creating interactive modules?

Liz Smith is an Instructional Designer with 15 years’ experience in developing and implementing creative, engaging learning. We asked her for her top 5 tips for creating interactive modules:

1. Without you to bring them to life, simply transferring your lecture notes and slide decks into online learning cannot give the students the whole experience. An online module needs to represent you, and your ideas, to your students. Make sure you include the asides, the memorable details, and examples you use – the things they would remember after the lecture.

2. Condense your lecture notes, and ‘chunk’ the content to create ‘headlines’, and give access to articles and papers via hyperlinks so as to not interrupt the flow of ideas.

3. It goes without saying that it needs to be well organised, with a visible high-level structure so students are aware of what they will learn, including learning objectives and in which order.

4. Although we are used to increasing levels of sophistication, think ‘fit for purpose’. Limited interaction such as clickable graphics, video, audio, drag and drop, links to external resources, and even reflection activities all engage students and move away from a simple eBook style.

5. Use the interactive module as your lecture content, and build an engaging learning experience around it by using your VLE / LMS to show linked examples (videos, websites, papers), and provide reading lists and set tasks, either individual or allowing the opportunity to collaborate with other students.

6. Record informal podcasts with fellow academics to add interest and another point of view, and consider using a survey tool to build pre-tests and/or post-tests.


Learn more about creating effective video lectures:

Video lectures:  Less stress, more learning

Online teaching isn’t just about transferring exactly what you would do in the classroom to a virtual environment – it’s important to adapt, and implement new ways for your students to learn. Keep your students in the loop with what you expect from each module and activity, and what they should expect to learn. It may be trial and error to begin with, but you’ll soon find the best interactivity tools for your teaching style.


Read our tips for keeping students engaged: 

Techniques to engage  your students

We’d also love to hear your top tips in the comments below!


About Liz:

Liz Smith is an experienced freelance Instructional Designer whose experience includes both education and online learning.  She is currently working with Pearson on a number of projects to convert Masters programmes into online modules and understands the challenges faced by academics.

Liz Smith Headshot

Access our Blended learning design: All the gear, no idea? webinar

Webinar recording


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