Some people can commit a page number to memory and flip to it without much effort—but not most. Other people mark their place by folding the corner of a page. (Not with my books in my house, though—yikes!) Other people use ticket stubs, drinking-straw wrappers, or other objects of opportunity. And some people use the thing itself: the bookmark. The ability to conveniently exit and reenter a piece of media, without losing progress, increases the likelihood that users will return to it. For books, this is valuable. For e-learning, it can be essential.
A longtime staple of web browsers, bookmarking functionality has become an essential part of other digital media as well. Netflix is one of many streaming services that remember when you exit a show before completion and offer you the opportunity to continue from that point upon returning. Bookmarking prolongs engagement; it allows you to leave but, more significantly, it keeps you coming back.
The constraints of certain environments, along with the nature of some objectives and content, might not lend themselves to prolonged periods of screen time. At NogginLabs, we believe constraints drive innovation. Let’s take a look at a few reasons why bookmarking might be needed, and how advantageous the feature can be to your custom e-learning.
1. PRESENTING EXPANSIVE MATERIAL
Some e-learning programs cover vast amounts of material, and it may not be practical—or possible—to engage with it all in a single sitting. For example, the Coaching Certification course we developed for IRONMAN covers over 10 hours of material on subjects ranging from nutrition planning, to training methods, to travel coordination. Tracking a learner’s progress is essential with such diverse and expansive content. Being able to exit and return to such a course while maintaining a record of progress is vital not only for learner’s completion, but also to allow challenging material to be reviewed as needed.
2. INCREASING KNOWLEDGE RETENTION
There’s another reason to step away from a course and return to it: breaks make for better learning. Studies have shown that even brief diversions from a task can significantly increase a learner’s focus on that task for a prolonged period of time. The mind is comparable to a muscle. Exhaustion reduces performance. However, after a period of rest, learners can return to a course reinvigorated and take their performance to the next level.
3. ACCOMMODATING AVAILABILITY
There are many environments in which learners might have irregular availability. Asales representative might engage in e-learning on a mobile device during periods of travel. A retail worker might participate in e-training during times of lessened store activity or in small segments over multiple shifts. Bookmarking allows a seamless, continued learning experience within a course, even when the periods of interaction are segmented. Beyond merely allowing learners to pick up where they left off, or flip back to review earlier content, bookmarking also records learner achievements. Scores, badges, and other unlockable rewards affirm learner success while driving further interaction.
Bookmarking in e-learning does more than hold your place. It allows for more in-depth, extensive experiences. It enables you to step away, to internalize, and to reengage. And it adapts to your availability, allowing the learning experience to fit into your world when you need it. All of this... without even creasing a single page.