Interactive Methods for E-Learning

We are always expanding our vocabulary of interactive methods to make for fun, challenging, and rewarding learning experiences. Here are ten of our favorites:

  • Multiple Choice Single Answer – Choose from a list of 4 or 5 potential answers. “All of the above” is a potential answer.
  • Pro and Con Grid – Participants list their plusses and minuses or hopes and fears on a specific subject. Great for pre-training assessments.
  • Multiple Choice Compound Answer – Select from one or more answers.
  • Time Based Multiple Choice – Value of correct answer goes down over time. Great for competitions.
  • Matching Columns – For example, dragging each word in the left hand column to it’s matching meaning on the right.
  • Asynchronous Discussion – Prompted during the lesson, participants discuss an issue or situation in an asynchronous (non-live) chat room that is specific to that topic. Great for team building exercises. Chat may be moderated by management before submission.
  • eRolePlay – During a video-taped role playing scenario, users are prompted to give their own response at a point in the dialogue. They can do it multiple times until they have a take that pleases them. In some sales and customer service situations, it’s appropriate to share the best answers with the group.
  • List Sorting – Users drag and drop phrases from a list to reorder. Can be used to properly order a protocol. A variation creates two lists, for example the Most Important Features and the Least Important Feature.
  • Student Generated Test Questions – Students create the hard questions based on the content. Reveals fuzzy understanding and need for clarification.
  • Peer Feedback – Users are fascinated to see peer responses. Have them vote on their favorite and share the winners with the group.

Continue reading “Interactive Methods for E-Learning”

Interactivity Drives Video Engagement at Conventions, Museums, and Retail

As you approach a plastic human torso hanging in space over a convention floor, it comes alive with animation showing the internal effects of a terrible disease. On a nearby flat screen you choose a drug therapy and an implantable device. You watch as the combination therapy attacks the disease, which recedes. The patient’s outcome has changed from a 6 month life expectancy to 8 years.

At the same convention, compete with your peers in a timed quiz. The faster you answer, the more points you get. Finish at the top of the leader board and get special recognition.

Or approach the appliance department in an electronics warehouse store. As you walk past the refrigerators, an animated spokeswoman appears on a screen and offers her assistance. She begins a dialogue to help you decide on the appropriate products to consider from a confusing range of features and prices. Enter your email address and she’ll send a product comparison to assist you as you shop.

These are just a few of the super cool, incredibly effective projects we have worked on in partnership with They provide the concepts, content, and screens. Our role is developing the technical mechanisms and code that make video respond to user interactions. It’s interactive video technology applied to multiple concurrent screens.

Often our work includes mapping video to dimensional screens, such as human bodies. Without mapping the projected images are distorted. Our technology compensates for the distortion and make the images life like when projected on irregular surfaces

At conventions and trade shows you can always find the PeopleVision projects. There are lines of attendees queued up to test their skills or experience the latest technology. Our partnership has gamified learning in powerful and exciting implementations,. without requirings special equipment or viewing glasses.

Take a look at their website for a gallery and list of recent clients, ranging from the military to casinos to theme parks all over the world.

The Quote Machine

 Business is Too Good

A manufacturer of complex, automated drilling equipment had a 6 month backlog on quotes.

Their machines drill up to 30 concurrent holes concurrently for products ranging from skateboards to automotive to military aircraft. Business was growing so fast that they had outstripped their ability to respond to inquiries. Their sales team was stressed and their prospects were frustrated. 

It’s likely that they had lost millions of dollars in revenue because they couldn’t respond to inquiries within a reasonable time.

The specification process requires analysis of many different parameters including hole sizes, material type, number of holes, hole depth, power type, controller environment, and so on before correct equipment can be specified.  It takes at least 6 months of training before a new sales engineer even knows the right sequence of questions before the specification process.   More than 6 million product configurations are possible.

To make the challenge more interesting, the product line was in a state of continuous change. Products were being added and updated, which put specifications in a state of constant flux.

Automation is a megatrend driving business-to-business marketing. Management for this company was keenly aware that prospects want immediate answers provided by self-service mechanisms, available 24 hours a day. Sales had to track responses to

Architecting a Solution

We followed the engineering lead through his process. We analyzed his sales forms, correspondence, and calculations from initial contact to order fulfillment.

Our first task was to develop an algorithm that would idealize his process and make it digitally repeatable. Then we had to provide a friction free user experience so that even technophobic customers would enjoy the specification experience.

The database design included a “Choices” table for every question, a “Sessions” table for every quote request, and a series of “Spec” tables containing equipment configurations. Since updating was very important, we provided cut and paste ability from Excel to the database, accessible through a management dashboard. Twelve generations of changes are available for restoration, if mistakes are made.

32 spindle drill head

We boiled the customer requirements down to 14 questions that had to be asked in a specific order.  Each answer affected choices available for subsequent questions. For example choosing “Wood” or “Titanium” limits the range of drill types, drilling depth, and the number of possible spindles.

When inquirers hit “Submit” on a completed form, the details of their inquiries are automatically sent to the sales team and management. The precise equipment configuration is specified with 100% accuracy. Sales simply has to put a price on the package and follow-up with the customer.

Realtime pricing is in the cards.


Quotation time has been reduced to same or next day. The quote-to-sale conversion rate is substantially higher. The rate of business growth has accelerated.

Some clients still need high touch customer service. These tend to be older clients who are used to premium service. The digital natives – the people who grew up with technology – prefer self-service, 24 hour access to solutions. 

The surprise is that new sales engineers have used The Quote Machine for training. By going through the process, they are able to learn the product line and understanding how customer requirements affect machine configuration. So the quote machine is assisting and “mentoring” a new crop of salespeople, helping them quickly achieve status as highly qualified solution providers. 

Future Forward

Integration with CRM, automated marketing, maintenance notifications, realtime automated pricing . . . all of these are in the plans for the next two years, as we help our client automate and refine their processes and grow their business.

Don’t Miss Breakthroughs for iPhone Video!

If you use video for marketing, advertising, or training, the new iOS10 operating system totally changes the rules for iPhone video!

IPhones have become the dominant video viewing device, accounting for a remarkable 35% of online video views and is growing exponentially. A new operating system, released mid-September 2016, opens powerful new opportunities to engage and involve users.

For the past 8 weeks, we’ve been working with pre-release versions.   Here’s why we are so excited:

Liberating Design Options

Until now, iPhone browser video has been severely constrained, running full-screen only, preventing interaction and navigation choices.

Typical video shown on earlier iPhone version. No graphics or interaction possible.

Now video can be designed as part of page layout, surrounded by interactive choices that appeal to viewers. This gives them navigation freedom and gives UX designers exciting new creative possibilities. Here are just a few examples:

  • New video layouts. No problem with Snapchat style vertical, or horizontal video with graphics rather than black top and bottom bars. Now video can be placed in any responsive layout, with all the flexibility of still images
  • Graphic overlays. A layer of graphics over video that can trigger interactivity
  • Graphic changes over time, such as slides synchronized with video

Clean Pauses

Gone are the ugly top and bottom control bars obscuring large swaths of iPhone video, particularly annoying when pausing video horizontally. As of iOS 10, front end designers can hide those bars to make the whole screen clean and unobscured.

Clickable Video

See a pair of shoes you like? Click on them to open a window with that item for sale! Want more information? Click to drill down to reference materials. Want to connect? Click on a face to open an email or chat window. All of this functionality is now available on iOS 10.

Shoppable video is revolutionizing retail sales! Now on iPhone.

Overlays Enabled

Buttons, hotspots, and design elements can finally be placed over running video, including 360º virtual reality.

  • Videos can be personalized. This means not only addressing a user by name, but delivering custom edited video on the fly to suit user needs.
Personalization of video drives plays 36% higher.
  • Notifications and navigation choices can appear directly over video. When it’s appropriate to show Buy Now, Click for Info, or a Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down, it’s possible in iOS 10. Here’s a simple example: 
    Pause or click + for navigation and info overlays.
  • In-video buttons prompt users for responses to questions and polls, providing meaningful exchange with viewers.

And this is just the beginning! Subscribe now to see samples of new features and capabilities as they are launched!

AuthorRandallPosted onDecember 13, 2016Tagsbranded contentcatsinteractive videoiOS10mobile videoVR

Everybody Loves a Cat Video

Who doesn’t love a cat video?

We have put together a fun sample to demonstrate some of our interactive video tricks. Watch the video to see if you can pick out all of the interactive elements:

Answers below. No cheating!


1. Timed stop, popup window with form

2. Personalization, moving graphics, blinking graphics

3. Indicator overlay (i), click to expand, show graphics, open URL

4. Return to video from URL

5. Play video in overlay when core video is still playing

6. End graphics and live action: open URL, replay video, contact us (open email client populated with email address)

The possibilities are endless. Let us help you create an attention grabbing video for your brand today!

AuthorRandallPosted onDecember 13, 2016

How Interactivity Drives Smart Phone Video

The rules of the game have radically changed!

If you watched online video 4 years ago, the odds are 20 to 1 that you used a laptop or desktop computer. Now it’s better than a 50/50 bet that you watch using a smart phone, with the small screen’s share growing every month.

eMarketer reports that the average American adult watched a startling 39 minutes of video per day on smart phones during 2015, with the numbers for young people much higher.

Why? Because quick and clever videos are a format that engages Millennials. Text based web pages just can’t compete! And smart phones are the devices that are ever present, the favored platform for the young and information hungry.

This viewing shift creates challenges and opportunities
for video based marketing and training. How do we rivet viewers’ attention to the small screen? How do we keep them engaged?

  • Target small screens first. Format video with smart phones in mind. Close-ups work well. Lingering wide shots don’t.
  • Make users participate. Passive users drift. Users who click buttons are more active and engaged. Even the most simple form of interactivity, chaptering, extends participation time by 44%. Embedded challenges and quizzes increase video consumption by 70% and higher!
  • Provide bite sized views. Smart phone video is consumed in small increments or chunks averaging 2.4 minutes. Trainers call this Micro-Learning. Much more effective to provide six 2 minute videos for serial viewing than one twelve minute clip.

Mobile video is today’s medium of choice. Now that video interactivity is possible on iPhones, a full palate of interactivity is available across every device. Here’s a :60 simple interactive example that works on recent desktops, tablets,and smart phones.
What are some of the big uses? Safety training and certification supplied to 3000 remote employees, launch training sent to 300 medical reps, and a video based survey are examples where smart phone video was a real game changer.

Contact us for more examples and detailed case studies.

Randy Tinfow,GM
Click-Video LLC

Randy Tinfow has been marrying video with computers for more than 25 years.

How to Make Sure No One Watches a Video

A beautiful animation starts a corporate video. It looks like an award winner for its producer and art director, with inspiring visuals and soaring music that resolve to the current sales theme – Opportunities for Growth.   Then company leaders are introduced to kick off each 5-6 minute program.

Only one minor problem . . . no one watched! Most of the internal audience lasted through the first program, but by the second in the series, half of the audience disappeared half of the 50 second intro had finished!

Critical Point-in-Time
This 10 video series was very important! The company had just gone private, spun off from a Fortune 100. These pieces announced some major changes that affected every job, explaining shifts in corporate plans, practice, and culture.   What to do now when the message is not reaching its target? The series was put on hold and we were brought in to rethink the project.

A huge store of video performance data guides our recommendations. Here’s what we know from analysis of more than 10,000 videos:

  • Today’s audiences have a short attention span
  • Get their attention in the first 10 seconds or they will leave
  • When users choose their own path, engagement time dramatically increases
  • Given a choice, 53% of users skip intros

During followup interviews, one viewer said, “Long intros are just corporate vanity. Why listen to an exec’s credentials when I can Google it!”

Simple Solution
We shot nothing new, simply reformatting the existing materials and wrapping them in an interactive shell.

We reduced the intro from a ponderous 50 to a snappy six seconds, after which a menu like this appears:

User choice substantially extends user engagement and message recall.

Once users have made a selection, the video chapters continue in sequence. If users pause at any time or if the sequence finishes the menu reappears.

Reformatting lifted average video views from 52 to 278 seconds, a 435% increase. That’s unusually high, with gains of 38-140% the normal range of improvement when interactivity is added to video.

More Typical Results
A more typical result is demonstrated in this video series where interactivity lifts engagement 46% over the same content delivered in linear fashion:–series.html

Interactivity transforms passive viewers to active and involved participants who stay longer and remember more.

Client: Medical diagnostic company with $500M+ revenue

AuthorRandallPosted onApril 13, 2017

Every Click Is Conversation

Every click is an audience member saying, “I’m interested in this.” It signals the start of a dialogue, the beginning of understanding the desires of users. Whether sponsors are selling a product, building a brand, or training staff, each click provides important feedback.

A recent webcast shows how video analytics provide solid, actionable data.

The Evolution of Presentations
It wasn’t long ago that a skilled exec could feel the response of an audience from the podium. He or she could sense exactly what part of the message resonated with the audience, and would tailor the presentation on the fly, based on live audience reaction. That’s impossible today with a large portion of the audience connecting via webcasts or other electronic means.

For a recent six hour Investor Day, more than eighty percent of the audience was on-line at any given time with the balance live attendees. Although on-line visits persisted for only 9 minutes, the average visitor returned 1.3 times, revisiting when important topics or speakers were scheduled. By selecting which broad categories to visit from a list of 12 the audience clearly indicated what information they wanted.

Audience Segmentation
To provide context for the data, we separated results for the financial community and company employees. As shown in the chart below, the priorities of these two groups are different. During the live event investors most often selected Late Stage Product Pipeline, focusing on income streams likely to become fruitful during the next two years. Employees selected Corporate Overview, not surprising for an organization in the midst of absorbing a large acquisition.

Immediately after Investor Day, an on-demand version provided more granular access to content. Rather than choosing from 12 broad categories, visitors were able to chose their own paths through 207 topics.

Choice Extends Engagement
In 15 years of analyzing video usage data, there is one constant – viewer choice increases viewer engagement. It was not surprise that users stayed 38% longer for the on-demand version because they could select the precise path they desired.

Note that the on-demand event generated 8x the traffic and 11x the video consumption as the live event. This is normal. One rousing Town Hall by the charismatic CEO of a J&J business had 60 employee views a month even 2 1/2 years after the live event!

When managers look at the clicks, they better understand what information audiences want. At the same time they know which messages were largely ignored. Ongoing communication strategies are adjusted in response.

Virtual Applause
Although corporate executives can’ t see or hear their online audience during large virtual meetings, they can determine reaction by the choices their audience makes.

In the new world of virtual engagement, consider each interactive choice a response as telling as a smiling audience, applause, or a standing ovation.

As mechanisms for audience engagement improve, even more granular data will help execs craft more powerful communications for investor relations and internal corporate audiences.

* Note that the topics referred to in this case history have been changed slightly to protect proprietary data.

AuthorRandallPosted onApril 13, 2017

Urgent Product Launch

How do you train and certify sales reps as quickly as possible? When sales are projected to be $3mm/week, there is no time to spare!

A pharma client had this challenge when the FDA approved a new indication earlier than expected. Before reps could start selling, they needed to be thoroughly trained and certified in product knowledge.

No Time for Traditional Launch

Waiting six months until the next sales meeting was not a viable option. Instead, web based video training was chosen. The key design requirements were:

  • Individual progress tracking
  • 100% understanding of 11 key issues
  • One month turnaround
  • Training entirely on smart phones and tablets

Our video team immediately started scripting, shooting, and editing video modules. At the same time, our web developers built the framework for presenting the content and measuring results. On the client side, the medical, legal, and regulatory affairs people reviewed the work and made adjustments as needed.

At the beginning of week 4, each rep was delivered a link to 38 minutes of training video with integrated quiz questions. They were instructed to complete the materials by noon Friday.

Monitoring by Managers

Throughout the week district managers tracked the progress of their reps, urging the stragglers to get moving and praising the completers.

Lessons were formatted for micro-learning – small units of content followed up by quiz questions. When reps left and came back, they were automatically returned to their last point of progress, making serial learning quick and friction free.

Adjustments Required

At the end of 3 days, we had enough data to evaluate training effectiveness. Nine of eleven key learning points were answered correctly on quizzes. However, two points received less than 50% correct responses, indicating message confusion.

A webcast was scheduled for end of week for product managers to clarify the problem learning points.

A final quiz was given after the webcast to certify each rep’s knowledge before they were turned loose to sell. Out of 202 reps, 198 successfully completed within the allocated week. Two were medically excused. The other two were given personal attention to get them up-to-speed for the sales push.

Final Analysis

Just under 30% of the training was consumed in the evenings. Most of it was accomplished during the day in small increments of downtime such as waiting for meetings or lunch. It took an average of 7.4 visits and 55 minutes to get through the material.

Real time analysis was vital for seeing shortfalls in materials and laggards in the field. Monitoring results allowed managers to adjust and meet their goals.

This accelerated launch demonstrates how video based training with real time reporting can effectively train remote workers without pulling them from the field.