Thursday, August 2, 2018

Raptivity Prep Sheets – A More Convenient Way to Build Interactions

Do you develop your Raptivity learning objects in a team? Or, are you an individual contributor who develops a lot of content and then uses it in Raptivity?  In the former scenario, you might have a subject matter expert in place to develop the content; there could be an editor to proofread it; an artist dedicated to designing graphics; and a course creator or a developer who is actually responsible for putting it all together in Raptivity. With so many people involved, the process to create even a simple learning module could consume a lot of time.
Whereas in the latter, since the onus of everything is on you, you could be struggling to maintain your content repository in a way that is easier to understand and decipher. There might even be situations when you have to seek course content from your customers,or subject matter experts. 

Keeping both the above scenarios and the challenges associated with them in mind, Raptivity has decided to launch interaction specific prep sheets to make their product usage easier. These prep sheets will outline all parameters available in specific interaction templates, along with providing placeholders for listing your content. These would be available as 'free-to-download and use' word files. You can use them to capture course content from various stakeholders, or to organize your content better.

There are several evident benefits of these prep sheets:
  • Even if your team members/external stakeholders are not acquainted with the Raptivity interface, they can still visualize the interaction outline through these prep sheets, and can share the course content accordingly.
  • These prep sheets will simplify your content organization process.
  • If your team needs to create course content in multiple languages, you could directly translate the interaction prep sheet content. This is surely one hassle-free way to create courses in multiple languages.
We will kick off  this idea today by sharing prep sheets for three popular Raptivity interactions:

Flash Cards

When there is a need to reinforce core concepts, facts, or vocabulary, use Flash cards. You could effectively use it as a presentation aid or even a quick quiz. Questions/Cues can appear on one side of the Flash cards and corresponding information or answers can appear on the flip side. You could download the Flash Cards prep sheet here.


If you wish to reproduce the experience of reading and flipping pages, use the eBook interaction. This interaction, with its flipping effect, and the use of images and videos, makes the whole experience of reading very interesting and close to real life. Download the eBook prep sheet here.


If you intend to present something in the form of a screen by screen module, use the Lesson interaction. It allows you to describe the different elements on screen using onscreen text, images and voice over. You could even use it to create guided tours of several application screens. Click here to download the Lesson prep sheet.

Lets us know if you found these prep sheets useful, so that we can build even more. You could drop a note to us at, or share your feedback through comments below.  

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Seven Ways to Increase Student Engagement in the Classroom

A survey conducted by Gallup indicates that only half of the world’s adolescent population reports feeling engaged in school and a fifth are actively disengaged. Engagement levels also show a consistent decrease as students get older. With the constantly dropping attention spans, figuring out ways to improve learner engagement is the de-facto goal for most educators today. This blog picks on some handy and straightforward ways to improve classroom engagement. Read on: 

Rock the First 8 Seconds

As per a research by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, you have merely 8 seconds to engage your learners before they move on to the next thing.  So, use the first 8 seconds to your advantage and get down to business in a unique way. Run a trivia related to your subject, share a humorous fact about it, or open up the subject discussion using a video or game.
The 10:2 Method

For every 10 minutes of instruction, allocate 2 minutes to your students to process and respond to it. Have them ask any questions they may have, or make them write what they have learned. You could even open up peer discussions in these 2 minutes. 

Make them Move

This is a very basic, yet effective tip for improving classroom engagement. Activities that require students to respond to questions by moving around in the classroom, indulge in some physical tasks, role play, or even write on the whiteboard, keep them engaged.

Let them Ask

Students must be trained on the procedure of procuring information rather than simply consuming. They need to ask more questions, so provide them with abundant opportunities to do so. Encourage them when they ask more questions and reward them when they think out of the box. Make this ritual a part of your classroom, and you might not need to wait for assessments to see the results.

Keep it Real

‘Why am I learning this? This is a question that every student has. ‘Because it is in your syllabus’, is not the best answer. Giving them examples of how they might apply a skill in real life, makes it more relevant and engaging. 

Leverage Technology

Technology distracts students, right? Well, why not harness it to engage them. Make place for digital tools in your classroom. In each of your sessions, designate a fixed time for gadget based exploration and learning. Use relevant apps for hands-on learning and for inculcating creativity. Let students use online tools to complete assignments. Using informative and interactive videos, animations, and strategically designed games is another excellent way to generate curiosity as well as interest in students. This could also help you provide feedback in the moment of learning. 
The Connected Learning Approach

The connected learning approach is keyed to the abundance of information and social connection brought about by the digital media. An example of connected learning may be when a teacher asks students to take pictures of any new words they find outside the classroom, and as a monthly activity, and the entire class goes through the compilation of these pictures from all students. This is an amazing way to increase their vocabulary and keep them engaged in the subject while retaining their everyday technology connection.
Hope you found our compilation of student engagement strategies useful. Do let us know what approaches you use to keep the engagement levels high in your classroom.
Many educational institutes rely on Raptivity to make their classrooms more engaging by using technology. Raptivity provides a plethora of learning templates across categories like presentations, games, quizzes, simulations, etc., to present your classroom content effectively. To find out how Raptivity can help you maximize student engagement in your classroom, take a free trial here.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Five Interactive Learning Trends That Could Be the Game Changer This Year

The learning technology adoption rate has been growing steadily over the last few years. Better, newer technologies and devices have come to the limelight, and people have welcomed them with an open mind. eLearning is also making a paradigm shift to keep up with this changing landscape. Today, various mediums bring eLearning to the learners exactly as they want it. Interactivity has taken different forms, growing bigger than ever. All this is facilitated by new technologies and trends making their way into mainstream. Let’s look at some of these trends.

1. Interactive Videos
Videos are the de-facto standard of communication today. If a picture speaks a thousand words, a video definitely speaks a million. Interactive videos take this experience a level higher as they transform the traditional video experience from a monologue into a dialogue. With their power to turn passive content into an active experience for viewers, interactive videos tend to fetch a larger number of views compared to traditional videos.

Interactive videos should ideally be capable of providing skip navigation, informative overlays and quizzes, feature engaging user interactions, and also help a viewer learn what’s important. These videos can be completely personalized according to the viewer’s requirements. 

2. Micro-Learning
Micro-learning is already mainstream. People have been talking about it for long and have started using it considerably to enhance their eLearning courses. But, it is still broadly understood as short videos or clips. In reality, micro-learning can very well be a short learning nugget in any form - an interactive video, a short game, quiz, an interactive infographic, or even a small eBook. With increased smart-phone usage, the demand for micro-learning will only increase in 2018.

3. Experiential Learning on Mobile
The number of global smart-phone users is growing year on year. With this increase, mobile learning is on the rise too. It is convenient, and also increases user reach by offering flexibility and accessibility. Learners can make use of their time during commute, mundane activities, or whenever they don’t have access to a larger screen. Learning providers now take it as given that their modules need to be accessible across multiple devices. With mobile devices coming up with an inbuilt AR support, learning on mobile will go up a notch higher. It will not just be about presenting any content, but letting users experience the content.
There is a lot of development on the 3D front too. 3D images and videos are on the rise, and could significantly contribute to enhanced mobile learning experiences. 
4. AI Empowered Learner Interactions 
The learning systems and platforms that have been used till date for any kind of assessments and recaps have fixed logic that has been keyed in. For instance, say there is a question that a course creator has framed, based on one of the modules on botanical study. It shows the picture of a rose flower and asks ‘Which flower is this?’ Now, the course creator has programmed a correct answer option for it in the module. It says ‘This is a rose.’ Today, if a learner undertakes such an assessment question and responds with anything other than the programmed answer, it is considered wrong. However, with AI becoming main-stream, if a system is built that could evaluate learners through intelligent logic rather than what is framed, that could make learner interactions and the learning process fantastic. In such cases, if a user responds ‘This is Rosa’, that would be correct too, since Rosa is the scientific name of rose. This information need not be present in the course module at all, but the system would be intelligent enough to know that this is also a correct answer. The use of artificial intelligence in the learner’s interactions will thus be a very interesting development to watch out for.
5. Voice Technology Usage in Courses
Put simply, voice recognition in any software or hardware is the ability to understand and interpret the human voice – and then it allows the user to either operate a device, or perform an action without any keyboard input. While voice technology has been around for long, its presence in eLearning was never witnessed. However, advances in AI mean that the possibilities of voice-driven learning could finally become a reality. All that learners would then need to do is, to open their course and talk to it.

We are excited about these possibilities, but how they shape up is something only time will tell. But for now, let’s wait for a learning technology-driven 2018.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Upcoming Webinar - The Steps You Must Take to Ensure Your Learners are Truly Engaged

Interactivity is the most essential ingredient of an engaging eLearning course. Sans interactivity, eLearning courses lose their gleam and learners just end up hitting Next-Next-Next passively. The only way to ensure that learners are...well, to involve the learner at almost every step. Present them with a problem they must solve, one that would be similar to that which they encounter on the job. Have them demonstrate that they know why a problem occurs and how to solve the problem step by step. Using this approach means adopting interactivity and varying the interactions you use.

Team Raptivity has coupled up with Joe Ganci, a veteran of 34 years in the eLearning industry, to deliver an insightful webinar focused on interactivity. The webinar, titled 'The Steps You Must Take to Ensure Your Learners are Truly Engaged', is scheduled for Dec 7, 9 am PST.  Joe will touch upon the many ways in which interactivity can be created using Raptivity. He will demonstrate how to use several Raptivity interactions in isolation or embedded in larger eLearning lessons to turn courses into engaging experiences.

In this session, you will also learn to:
  • Apply the case-based scenario approach to any topic you need your learners to master
  • Use interactions to build the scenarios quickly
  • Track each learner's progress through the scenarios
  • Include the interactions in your authoring tool of choice
So, grab this amazing chance and be a part of this webinar. You may register here
P.S. You will be welcome to ask Joe any questions you may have, so be sure to attend!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Raptivity Flavors - A Chance To Get Your Template Idea Featured in Raptivity

Dear eLearning professional,

We know you have always loved Raptivity for enabling you to create hassle-free eLearning and we wouldn’t want it any other way. The folks in our team are always on the lookout for ways to make eLearning innovative, interesting and easier. We carry out our own research, study market requirements, evaluate upcoming trends and also speak to our customers from time to time to get their inputs on making Raptivity better. During one such exercise, some of our customers showed us how they were able to use a single Raptivity interaction in multiple creative ways. We were absolutely amazed by the level of imagination and creativity of these people.  We could not even recognize what Raptivity interactions were used as a base for those samples. This got us thinking if the entire Raptivity community of users could be benefitted by this practice readily! And tadaa, we got a fabulous idea.

The team donned its creative hats and also got in touch with these customers to build something called Raptivity Flavors; which in essence means various flavors of the existing interaction templates. We understand that it is not always convenient and quick to think out of the box while creating samples and that’s why many people end up using the interactions exactly how they are designed by default. What we are going to do, is, use the elements of the same interaction in different ways so that you get new ways of using the same interaction model. To give you an example, you would be able to use Flash Cards to build an engaging presentation, or an exciting quiz, or reinforce key points of a topic in picture. All these options would be readily available as multiple flavors of the Flash Card interaction model.

Basically, one Raptivity interaction will have many flavors. More the interactions, even more flavors. Does this sound interesting? Well, we are going to make it even better. We would love to incorporate your ideas in the flavors release.  If you are one of those creative masters who always likes to use Raptivity in innovative ways, show us your magic. Send your interaction samples to by July 24, 2017, and the best ones will be featured as distinct flavors in Raptivity. Also note that we will not reuse the content of any of your samples but just take creative reference from the way the sample(s) have been built.

So get set to witness the charm of Interaction Flavors by Raptivity. Stay tuned for more updates!

Yours Creatively,
Team Raptivity

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Enabling Instructional Designers - Using Raptivity for Rapid Storyboarding

In our last two blogs in the ‘Enabling Instructional Designers’ series, we discussed about using Raptivity as an instructional designing aid to visualize content and to improve communication with subject matter experts. Today, we will talk about a practice very close to any Instructional Designer’s heart – Storyboarding.

Storyboard is like the blueprint of an eLearning course. Instructional designers and course creators always intend to create a good storyboard for their courses since it is central to eLearning course development. But creating a detailed and clear storyboard can take a lot of time. Here is a quick tip on using Raptivity for rapid storyboarding.

An Instructional Designer can create storyboard layouts based on the Raptivity templates that s/he wants to use in the course. The Subject Matter Expert can then fill in the content in the storyboard. Post that, the storyboard again goes back to the instructional designer who may then fine-tune it and eventually, can copy the content from it and paste it in the Raptivity interaction templates. Definitely saves a lot of time for storyboarding as well as actual course creation!

Alternatively, each Raptivity template can be assigned a code or reference number. The instructional designer can just mention the relevant codes or reference numbers in the storyboard instead of adding any notes for the developer. This can help save a lot of storyboarding time.

Below is a diagrammatic representation of both the approaches for quick reference:

Approach 1

Approach 2

Interesting use case once again! Isn’t it? Did you know Raptivity could be such a handy tool for Instructional Designers? Have you ever used it this way? Share your thoughts through comments below.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Enabling Instructional Designers - Using Raptivity for Improving Communication with Subject Matter Experts

In our last blog in the ‘Enabling Instructional Designers’ series, we wrote about using Raptivity as an instructional designing aid to visualize content and come up with the graphic treatment during storyboarding. Today, we will talk about using Raptivity to improve communication with subject matter experts (SMEs) and clients in an eLearning setup.

When you work in an eLearning development team, you have to deal with multiple people and more often than not, you need to incorporate everyone’s ideas and feedback in your work. But most instructional designers have a specific way of putting together their storyboard. Many times, SMEs find it difficult to understand these storyboards and fail to visualize how the content will look in the actual course. Raptivity can serve as an aid to ease this situation. 

Let’s understand it better through the following example:
All Raptivity interaction templates follow a unique visual style and clearly indicate how the content will be displayed through each of them. An instructional designer can make good use of these ready interactions in his/her storyboard. They may share Raptivity interaction samples (created by them previously or published default templates) with the subject matter experts or clients. They can even share the interaction or sample course links from the Raptivity website (The Raptivity website features all default interaction templates and multiple samples). Looking at these templates and samples, the SME can have a fair idea of how the content is going to look like in the course. Based on the same, s/he can share feedback with the instructional designer and the number of iterations can significantly reduce.

Alternatively, an instructional designer can share multiple template options for each content chunk and the subject matter expert can choose the one s/he thinks is the best. This way they get to witness and choose from a huge variety and it also reduces alterations during the actual course development process.
Below is a diagrammatic representation of both the approaches for easy reference:

Approach 1

Approach 2

Interesting! Isn’t it? Did you know Raptivity could be used for these small hacks apart from serving its core purpose of course creation? Have you ever used Raptivity this way? Share through comments below.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Upcoming Webinar - Employee Training and Its Impact on Productivity, Retention and Revenue

Research states that one-third of new hires quit their job after about six months and disengagement costs billions (US$343 billion annually). Well, most employees want to do a good job and feel satisfied when their efforts make a difference to their workplace. But more often than not, employees need to be trained continually to feel engaged, to keep learning, to keep performing well, and to keep growing. Training can have a significant impact on employee engagement and retention. For every 1% increase in employee engagement, you can expect to see an additional 0.6% growth in sales for an organization.

Ironically, many organizations feel that if there is no point spending money and time to train and develop employees. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that companies with fewer than 100 employees gave only 12 minutes of manager training every six months. Think large companies with 100 to 500 employees do better? No. they provided just 6 minutes per half year.

The fact is that a well-designed training program can play a critical part in boosting employees’ self-worth, development opportunities and make them feel good about their job. Performing well becomes second nature for well-trained employees. The improvement is bound to have a positive impact on the business in terms of increased productivity and revenue, and lesser attrition and supervision.

Join two experts - Susan Wines, eLearning Specialist, Thomson Reuters (Tax & Accounting) Inc., and Cynthia Alderman, Senior Technical Editor and Instructional Designer, Thomson Reuters (Tax & Accounting) Inc., on April 26, 10 AM PST for an insightful webinar on Training and Retention. They will talk about the importance of employee training and its impact on business.

Key takeaways from this session will help you:
• Determine and Evaluate Turnover Issues
• Identify Skill-Gap Challenges
• Present a Case for Investing in Training for Employee Engagement
Register here.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Enabling Instructional Designers - Using Raptivity for Content Visualization

Effective content visualization is one of the key elements of instructional design. It plays a key role in engaging learners. On the development side, it lets instructional designers (IDs) present complex topics in formats that are appealing to the eye, and helpful enough to retain knowledge. IDs have various options to present content - diagrams, charts, graphs, illustrations, drawings, photographs, etc, but deciding on what to use and how exactly to use it, can be tricky. Raptivity can serve as a great aid at such times. It can help IDs visualize content and decide on the graphic treatment during storyboarding. Let me explain it using two scenarios:

Scenario 1
Raptivity interactions are classified into various categories such as scenario based learning, games, presentation aids, quizzes, etc. Now, if while storyboarding, an ID wants to design/present a particular content chunk as a diagram, s/he can refer to the interactions under ‘Interactive Diagrams’ category of Raptivity to see different types of diagrams. Depending on the requirement, the ID can choose which diagram type works the best and accordingly the graphic/multi-media treatment for the content in the storyboard can be decided. The same concept can be used to look for design options in various other categories too.

Scenario 2
Raptivity has a unique search functionality, where you can type in any search word in the search box and related interactions are displayed. For instance, an instructional designer can type the word “classification and all interactions that present classification exercises in different ways are displayed. The instructional designer can look at all options and accordingly then choose and describe the graphic for the exercise in the storyboard.

Thus, Raptivity can help instructional designers to visualize content and decide on the graphic treatment, irrespective of whether it will be actually used to develop the course or not. Interesting! Isn’t it?

Have you ever used Raptivity in this way? Share your comments below.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Five Tips To Make an Instructional Designer’s LinkedIn Profile Shine

LinkedIn is the world's largest professional network with approximately 467 million members across the globe. It can offer a great networking experience to eLearning professionals and can also lead to new business or career opportunities. LinkedIn is a powerful tool to promote your brand (could be your company or you as a professional) amongst thousands of like minded professionals, decision makers, partners, talent seekers, or customers. 

LinkedIn recently redesigned its UI, thus bringing Conversations and Content to the heart of the platform. In-line with this redesigned user experience that LinkedIn offers now; I am going to share some tips that could make your profile stand out as an eLearning professional, and specifically as an instructional designer. Some tips would be generic and fairly simple, while others could be used to specifically display your work and skill set.

1. Picture
This is the simplest of all. Your LinkedIn profile picture puts a face to your profile, a face that people could relate to. Not having a profile picture or using an unprofessional one is not admirable. So stick to a good profile picture, a professional headshot always does the trick.
The new thumbnail of your LinkedIn profile picture is a circle. To ensure that the thumbnail image looks like what it should, go to edit your picture and confirm that it appears the way you want it.

2. Background Photo
Use the background image to talk about something significant like your organization. The new dimensions for the background image are 1536 x 738. Even when you use the correct dimensions, ensure that you consider the image and text positioning. A fuzzy image that doesn’t adhere to the required dimensions or an image with text or graphics getting cut is not appealing to the viewer. So double check once you are done. An interesting way that graphic designers could use this feature is by using some innovative infographic or tag-cloud as the background photo. The infographic could be made from snapshots of your work, whereas the tag cloud could speak about your skills.

3. Headline
The headline is possibly the most important part on your LinkedIn profile. It should be about what you do rather than what you are. Use these 120 characters to generate curiosity in the viewer to know more about you. Weave in your specialty and leverage it to the fullest. For example, if you are an instructional designer, a very creative and jazzy headline could be something like this: Instructional Designer, Storyteller and Thinker who weaves magic in her courses. Oh, and people love my storyboards.

4. Summary and Experience
The Summary section is a very critical element of your LinkedIn profile as it showcases your professional story. With the new look, only the first two lines of your Summary are visible upfront. You need to grab people’s attention now to read more. So let your summary be crisp, and include the most important and interesting stuff at the top. Also, be mindful of spacing. Nothing puts down a viewer as much as an unevenly spaced summary text.
While stating about your experience, state your current position and also fill up information about all your previous work assignments. It adds credibility to your profile. Ensure you do not add any incorrect information.

Add your Portfolio
A very interesting and effective way of making your LinkedIn profile stand out as an instructional designer is by adding your portfolio. And as the LinkedIn team itself states, rich, tangible examples show your quality of work and give people a reason to interact with you. You could do this by uploading relevant media files or sharing links to any external media under the ‘Summary’ or ‘Experience’ section.
This makes your profile visually appealing and also helps people see samples of your actual work rather than just reading some text around it. You could also design your own examples to be uploaded as media. But ensure you do not include anything that comes under the ownership/copyright of your current or previous employers. 

How to do it?
Well, PowerPoint and Videos are two effective ways of going about it. If you choose to go with a PowerPoint, make it interactive by inserting ready-to-use interactivities from a tool like Raptivity. The benefit of interactive stuff is that it can engage the viewer unlike a static PowerPoint. 
You could even demonstrate a complete project story by building a PowerPoint with interactivities. It can talk about everything right from your course objectives to the software you used, to the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Leverage the power of storytelling using interactivities.
If you choose to go with creating a video, you could either add narration and convert your PowerPoint to a video or build a video from scratch depending on what works better for you. Videos are undoubtedly the most effective way of conveying your story and examples.

5. Strengthen your profile further
  • Education: Filling up the following sections - Education, Certificates, Awards (If applicable), showcases your continual growth and helps you strengthen your profile further.  Also make sure to add your contact information so that people can quickly reach out to you if required.
  • Featured Skills: The new profile view only shows the first 3 skills you have listed in the Skills & Endorsements section. Since you can reorder your skills, select the top three that are most important to you to be visible.
  • Groups: Join the right eLearning and instructional designing groups and be an active member there. Start commenting on posts and articles, or initiate your own discussions whenever required. This will help you become visible to the fraternity and will also serve as a platform to showcase your expertise.
  • Incorrect Spellings and Grammar: Be wary of incorrect spellings and grammar, be very wary! Wrong spellings and grammar can spell disaster for instructional designers, or rather all eLearning professionals. So proofread everything that you post, on your profile, or anywhere else on LinkedIn. 
Got more tips on using LinkedIn to the fullest? Share them with us below. Let us promise ourselves to leverage the power of this amazing platform called LinkedIn. Let us all rise and shine.