Courses That Captivate: Designing Interactive Learning Experiences

Effective nonprofit education and advocacy rely on interactivity, as experiential learning deepens information absorption and retention.

Want to truly inspire and activate your nonprofit’s supporters? Make your educational offerings interactive.

Over the past 20 years, I’ve trained thousands of advocates who’ve catalyzed real change for their organizations. I’ve seen firsthand how interactive learning experiences light a spark.

Our brains are wired for hands-on engagement. When we step into experiential learning, we absorb and retain information more deeply. That’s why interactivity needs to be central to any nonprofit course aimed at equipping and motivating change-makers.

Based on Make Good’s expertise producing engaging courses, here are my top tips for boosting advocacy through interaction:

Blend Information With Application Opportunities

Dumping a mound of information on learners via straight lecture rarely sticks. While some content delivery is necessary, the most impactful courses blend it with frequent chances for learners to apply concepts.

Sprinkling assessments, discussions, and exercises throughout gives brains an opportunity to actively process and reinforce key takeaways. For example, let’s say your course teaches best practices for managing volunteers. Rather than an hour-long video lecture, break it into 10-15 minute topical segments. Follow each segment with a short knowledge check quiz or prompt for learners to discuss how they’d implement that strategy.

This interactive mix boosts retention as attendees get hands-on practice using the exact skills you aim to build.

Incorporate Varied Media to Engage All Learning Styles

Today’s most compelling courses speak to auditory, visual, and kinesthetic learners. Text-heavy slides and lecturing address only one style. Instead, weave in diverse media elements:

  • Short video segments that showcase real stories and examples. These powerfully convey emotion along with information.
  • Animated motion graphics that explain processes and illustrate concepts in memorable ways.
  • Infographics that visualize data relationships and big picture context.
  • Photos that resonate emotionally and say a thousand words.
  • Hands-on activities, worksheets, and offline challenges to get tactile.
  • AI interactivity like chatbots that enable personalized dialogue, feedback, and recommendations. Blending conversational AI with human-created content creates dynamic, adaptive learning experiences.

This multimedia variety provides a more immersive, stimulating experience than lectures alone.

Keep Structure Flexible for Accessibility

Today’s learners expect convenience and flexibility. Where possible, design courses with options:

  • Self-paced completion over time rather than live webinars. Allow bookmarking progress.
  • Mobile optimization for learning on smaller screens. Mobile apps can expand reach.
  • Modular microlearning lessons for digestible bites.
  • Accessibility features like subtitles, transcripts, screen reader tags, and alt text.
  • On-demand playback of recorded sessions anytime.

We have to build with our audience in mind, understanding they may need to fit learning around life demands. The more customizable and self-service we make the experience, the more barriers we remove.

Promote Enrollment Creatively

Driving awareness of your educational offerings is just as crucial as their design. Promote courses across multiple channels:

  • Email existing lists, sending engaging reminders. Segment for relevance.
  • Run social media ads and ask ambassadors to share. Post trailers and convincing testimonials.
  • Recruit respected nonprofit leaders and activists to share with their engaged networks. Offer to feature their content as well.
  • Partner with related membership associations for cross-promotion.
  • Showcase on your website. Blog about each new course to boost SEO.

Get the word out across both owned and shared channels. Make it easy for influencers to refer audiences who will care.

Provide Clear Follow-Up Pathways

A course’s impact continues after completion. Guide satisfied learners down pathways to stay involved:

  • Offer seamless sign-up for related volunteer opportunities.
  • Keep engaging alumni through email, social media, and events with ongoing education.
  • Develop advanced Course 2.0 offerings and spotlight other training.
  • Facilitate peer networking between alumni through social channels and meetups.
  • Ask for input to improve the course and generate new co-creation ideas.
  • Find sincere ways to recognize those who dedicate time to participate and contribute.

When learners feel valued, listened to, and part of a community, they become advocates for life. Nurture continued pathways for participation to turn one-time students into lifelong supporters.

Inspire Through Interaction

The right interactive approach inspires your community well beyond course completion. If your nonprofit needs an educational program that motivates action, let’s connect. With Make Good’s 20 years designing engaging courses, together we can create experiences that light a spark. The opportunity to shape knowledge, skills, and passion through interactive learning is immense. Reach out if you’re ready to captivate and activate your supporters.

Christopher Frazier
Christopher Frazier, Founding Partner and Chief Advocacy Officer, brings over two decades of digital media and nonprofit consulting expertise. His visionary leadership has transformed Make Good into a hub of innovation for purpose-driven organizations.
Stay Updated

Don’t miss a beat in the ever-evolving world of nonprofit strategy. Get the latest insights in your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter.

Request a Consultation

Inspired by what you’ve read? Let’s talk about how we can tailor these insights to your organization’s unique journey.