How to maximize e-learning outcomes with the magic of interactive video

Mar, 05, 2024
Tim Aleksandronets
Tim Aleksandronets
CEO at Blue Carrot

The shift toward e-learning has altered education for students from all corners of the world. This approach has emerged as a crucial tool for the modern education landscape due to its potential to overcome the limitations of time, space, and resources often associated with traditional classroom instruction. Since technologies are here to meet users’ demand for more extraordinary experiences, their use in education is obvious. Interactivity is a buzzword for learners, so let’s figure out how to deliver it in videos. 


Understanding interactive video

Benefits of interactive video for e-learning

Practical steps to integrate interactive videos in e-learning

    1. Storytelling and scripting
    2. Visual and audio production
    3. Interactivity and immersion
    4. Usability and navigation

Best practices for creating interactive videos for e-learning

Measuring success: key metrics to evaluate

How Blue Carrot can help your business

Understanding interactive video

An interactive video enables viewers to participate in the content of the video itself. Unlike linear videos, they present a non-linear experience, offering multiple pathways for viewers to explore the content. The interaction may be achieved through various functions, such as clickable links or different options for the viewer to take, which lead them to different outcomes based on their choices. 

An interactive video comes in different formats, facilitating a myriad of purposes and contexts. 

Educational clips are designed to help students absorb knowledge more efficiently. Such videos often feature quizzes, live Q&A sessions, and tutorial walkthroughs

  • Quizzes are used to reinforce the understanding of key concepts.

  • Q&A sessions allow students to interact with the instructor and ask questions in real-time. 

  • Tutorial walkthroughs are step-by-step recordings demonstrating how to complete a task or solve a problem, making the learning process more visual and hands-on.

Presented by Michelle Lekkerkerk at California Community Colleges, the “Online Study Skills and Time Management” interactive quiz video guides students through unique time management styles after they answer all questions. They also receive tailored tools and instructions to enhance their study habits. 

Using branching videos, the British Council assists educators in discovering the most effective ways to foster creativity in young students. 

Educational videos also help train employees. Corporate training interactive videos typically include virtual simulations, allowing employees to deal with real-world scenarios in a risk-free environment. SimforHealth’s focuses on VR technologies in interactive e-learning. 

Interactive training modules can also be utilized to engage learners and improve their knowledge retention.

Thanks to the added level of engagement and entertainment that interactive videos provide, many organizations have adopted them as a way to enhance their training programs and educational materials. Let’s discuss the advantages of video interactivity for e-learning, including how to use it to engage students and produce reliable outcomes.

Benefits of interactive video for e-learning

An empirical study by Elsevier posted on ResearchGate in 2006 stated that the availability of interactivity was a prerequisite for the usefulness of video in learning. Students who participated in the interactive video-based online learning environment outperformed their peers in learning outcomes and learner satisfaction. The results demonstrate how important it is to incorporate interactive educational videos into e-learning platforms.

These are some of the primary benefits of interactive content that come with employing it in education.

  • Enhanced Engagement and Retention. Interactive videos in e-learning education have the power to transform even the most mundane subject matter into captivating content by providing an interactive experience that boosts audience engagement and intermixes with the narrative. 
  • Flexibility and Accessibility. Interactive videos that are compatible with virtually all devices, operating systems, and web browsers can accommodate various e-learning methodologies rapidly. 
  • Personalization and Customization. Unlike traditional one-size-fits-all teaching, e-learning and interactive videos offer learners complete control over their experience. They can choose the topics of interest and focus on areas where they need more depth or knowledge. 
  • Real-time Feedback and Assessment. Interactive videos generate a lot of data that instructors can use to evaluate their students’ progress and learning trends. This feature creates an excellent opportunity for improving e-learning ROI with interactivity – creators can identify current learning gaps, areas of interest, and future directions.  
  • Increased Motivation and Interest. Video interactivity has replaced the passive nature of typical training videos with new and enhanced technologies – they offer immediate feedback, which can be highly motivating for the learner. 
  • Better Decision-Making and Collaboration: Learners can engage with the content by making real-time decisions that impact the narrative. This ability to create and analyze alternative scenarios encourages critical thinking and problem-solving. 

Practical steps to integrate interactive videos in e-learning

Several technical elements work together for the implementation of interactive video in e-learning. Here are some of the critical components:

  • Interactive video elements: clickable buttons, hotspots, or overlays that are typically added to the video using specialized software tools or a programming language like Javascript.
  • Data tracking tools: these help collect data on how viewers interact with the video, such as which buttons they click on or how long they spend on certain sections. This data can then be used to optimize the video for better engagement and audience insight.
  • Video analytics: the tools that provide detailed metrics on how the video performs, such as views, engagement rates, and drop-off points. With this information, creators can tweak the video to meet the needs of viewers.
  • Web technologies: HTML, CSS, or Javascript, corresponding LMSs’ features, or web players like Vimeo assist in creating custom interfaces and user journeys, allowing viewers to navigate the video and its content in unique ways.

Once the interactive video content has been created, it can be uploaded to an LMS or Vimeo platform. In the case of an LMS, the interactive video can be integrated into a course module, and learners can access it along with other course materials. Vimeo can also be used as a standalone platform for hosting and sharing interactive video content.

Videos, whether interactive or not, allow the audience to visualize everything; you should take advantage of this. We explain how to do this below.

Storytelling and scripting

A compelling story is at the heart of any well-made interactive learning video, so your first step is to define the learning objectives and the target audience. This way, you can write a storyline that will resonate with learners and address their learning needs. Considering the audience’s characteristics, such as age, knowledge, and preferences, will make the students’ learning journey easier.

Visual and audio production

According to the 2010 MEC study named “Using Images Effectively in Media”, humans process visuals 60,000 times faster than text, meaning images and illustrations help us understand complex information. An interactive video’s visual and auditory elements play a crucial role in enhancing the UX and influencing learning outcomes. Audio effects also enhance the UX in interactive e-learning videos, creating an immersive experience that draws learners in and helps them stay focused. Voice-over narration, sound effects, and background music all drive an emotional connection to the content. 

Interactivity and immersion

Interactivity and immersion elements have to support the learning goals of the video. Consider adding the following features when designing interactive video e-learning content:

  • Bookmarks make it easier for learners to navigate and revisit content they found challenging and deliver an additional layer of customization.
  • A variety of question types, such as drag-and-drop, fill-in-the-blanks, true or false, matching, and hotspot, among others, can make the questions more challenging and interesting.
  • Animations on top of existing videos help present complex concepts or info while ensuring enhanced learner engagement; relevant popups with external links or documents can boost the learning experience by providing more information and context.
  • Video-on-video technique overlays a second explanatory video over the main scenario video and is used to facilitate complex concepts.
  • Closed-captioning provides an extra channel for information delivery, thus enhancing retention.


Usability and navigation

When users are presented with a user-friendly interface, they are more likely to focus on the information provided rather than get frustrated trying to navigate the system. This is essential for user interactivity in e-learning where students are often on tight schedules; they do not have time to spend trying to figure out how the interface works. Streamlining the interface can help learners get the most from the material, making it more accessible and intellectually stimulating.

Best practices for creating interactive videos for e-learning

Keep it concise

Making interactive videos for e-learning short is crucial for improving engagement and increasing material retention. According to the Educause study “What Makes an Online Instructional Video Compelling?”, findings across many courses and programs at SCE state viewers tend to spend an average of four minutes watching e-learning videos before losing interest. If videos are too long, learners may feel overwhelmed with the content and retain very little information. Instead of trying to cover large amounts of information in one video, create shorter videos that speak to specific points or concepts.

Add interactive questions

CBE’s 2016 research on “Effective Educational Videos: Principles and Guidelines for Maximizing Student Learning from Video Content” demonstrates that incorporating interpolated questions in videos positively impacts students’ test performance and reduces mind wandering, making it easier for them to retain information. Students who encounter such questions while watching videos tend to take more notes, leading to a deeper understanding and retention of the material. The Kansas project by Deb Lewis is great for interactive geography learning.

Allow more control for learners

Interactive features enhance learner engagement and motivation and give students more flexibility in the learning process. Users manage the video content by reviewing important sections, repeating challenging concepts, and assessing their learning progress. Control over the pace and content of the learning experience helps reduce the extraneous load on learners’ cognitive capacity. 

Use guiding questions

Guiding questions serve as an indirect means to share learning goals with the learners, thus increasing their engagement and attention toward critical elements. Incorporating them can result in a deeper processing of the information presented and improved learning outcomes.

Test your video

Now, you are ready to test your newly created interactive video. Here are some steps you can follow:

  • Create a plan and define test cases to cover every aspect of the interactive video, test all the functionalities, and ensure that the video works as expected.
  • Test on different devices and browsers to ensure your video works well on desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones, plus a range of browsers like Chrome, Safari, Mozilla, and Edge.
  • Check the interactivity functionality, verifying that learners can interact with all buttons, hotspots, and other clickable objects.
  • Verify video quality and content accuracy for an effective finished product.
  • Conduct user acceptance testing to identify the usability and functionality issues that learners may face.

Measuring success: key metrics to evaluate

Several vital activities need to be carried out to evaluate the effectiveness of interactive videos, which we will discuss in detail below.

  • Monitor the completion rates of interactive videos: check how many learners actually watch the entire video and stay engaged throughout the learning experience. A low completion rate indicates that viewers are disengaged or uninterested, and the video may require revisions to improve its effectiveness.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the learning outcomes achieved through the interactive video. Assessments or quizzes help measure the retention of knowledge and skills gained from the video, indicating the extent to which learners have learned and understood the content.
  • Track the level of learner engagement, interaction, and feedback using external tools such as surveys or feedback forms. Collect information about how the learners interacted with the video, their level of engagement, and their overall experience. This insight can help make real-time decisions and necessary adjustments to improve the video’s effectiveness.
  • Analyze user behavior data: metrics such as click-through rates, time spent on certain sections, and user drop-off deliver insights into whether learners find the content engaging or experiencing confusion or frustration. Further, tracking the number of social media shares and likes the video gets is another data point that also provides valuable insights.

How Blue Carrot can Help your business

Blue Carrot is well-equipped to help businesses achieve their goals through high-quality video production. Our primary goal is to effectively communicate the client’s messages to their audience through exceptional content. Drawing on our own experience and working closely with clients to identify their needs and objectives is one of the vital steps. Our approach involves a proactive communication strategy where we ensure the client understands each stage’s process and deliverables. Thus providing them with all the necessary information and samples to make informed decisions. 

Another important aspect of our job is to deliver the finished product on time. A vivid proof of this statement would be our collaboration with the US university. We were tasked with adding custom animation to pre-recorded lectures on the Development of Healthcare Ecosystems. The production process posed challenges due to the tight delivery timeline. Despite this, we successfully developed over 200 minutes of content in just one month. 

Typically, a video agency would require 3-5 months to create such a substantial volume. However, we successfully accelerated the process by assigning a larger team of specialists to this project, enabling us to meet the deadline as requested. Our accomplishment in completing this task exemplifies our commitment to exceeding client expectations.


1. 🤔 What is interactive video?

👉 Interactive videos are essentially any videos that allow you to engage with them in some way. Bandersnatch and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt: Kimmy vs. The Reverend are great examples of interactive video content.

2. 🤔 How do interactive videos drive e-learning?

👉 When learners actively engage with the content, it improves retention and understanding of complex concepts.

3. 🤔 What are the advantages of interactive video in e-learning?

👉 They improve retention of complex material, increase motivation and engagement, ensure personalized learning experience, and generate useful feedback for creators to adjust the content and delivery to meet viewers’ needs better.

4. 🤔 How can I create interactive videos for e-learning?

👉 Interactive video technology for e-learning varies greatly. You can use Vimeo or YouTube’s built-in interactive tools, like annotations, cards, and end screens. But first of all, you need to create the videos.

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