interactive PDFs

Are interactive PDFs useful for busy learners?  

There has been a revolution in the eLearning industry now. The vendors are coming up with new solutions to retain the learners and reduce the bounce rate.

When the learners drop out of a course, it reflects poorly on an eLearning vendor.
Hence, the eLearning vendors are now using PDFs to prepare interesting courses for learners. Interactive PDFs are getting used nowadays, allowing their creators all the facilities such as hyperlinks and embedded video files. The learners can also add information to the forms, part of the PDF. Moreover, such PDFs are of immense use in eLearning because learners can benefit from scrollable images.

But the eLearning vendors should find ways to make such interactive PDFs entertaining:

  • Using arrows for moving between pages: The eLearning companies can make use of the fact that instead of just using buttons in a PDF, they use colorful buttons or even arrows, which get the user’s attention much faster than next or back buttons.
  • The eLearning vendors can use all kinds of information hints in an interactive PDF so that learners do not face any hindrance while understanding information.

    If they are, they can click on the “hint” popup and get the meaning of a specific word. They can also be linked to an online dictionary website where users can search for the meaning of the complicated word.

    When the social media icons are included in such a PDF document, the learners can be directed to the social media profiles of the content owner.

  • Use hyperlinks: Moreover, the users can also be directed to audio clips through clickable photos, making the former more interesting. For example, the national flag of Canada can include the YouTube hyperlink of the national anthem of Canada.
  • Hyperlinks can direct a user to external websites or PDFs stored on the server, but they often point to subsequent pieces of text also. The users can click on a term and be directed to the next paragraph where its meaning has been explained. It’s better to have internal links in the course because this way, the user can be made to study the complete eLearning module, and he can also access such links without having an internet connection which happens when the course is browsed through after office hours. It saves the user from the extra expenses on mobile data.

  • Make PDFs entertaining for users: Interactive PDFs can be entertaining for the learners because if the learner is on a train journey and he is not in the mood to read the PDF documents, he can listen to the audio file. This way, the learner can skip reading some portions of the document and instead listen to them. He can select the parts he prefers to read by muting their audio. There can also be audio files to which the user can listen so that the entire PDF document is not too boring. For example, when he clicks on a new chapter, he can be provided with an audio recording of a song.

  • Adding worksheets to a PDF document: The users can also have downloadable worksheets in the PDF document. A worksheet is just a form where the user can add his answer to the given questions. So, various choices can be provided to the learner, such as text fields, radio buttons, and even a signature button.

When the user has such options, he can add his opinion about the module or even submit his response to an MCQ (Multiple Choice Questions) quiz through radio buttons. When a user is required to choose multiple alternatives, he can be given a checkbox instead of a radio button.

These forms are ideal for creating checklists for confirming whether all the things required for a certain condition are fulfilled, like whether all the requirements are met for growing vegetables in a home garden.

The submission of such worksheets is easy because there can be a hyperlink to a server added to the submit button. So, the user’s data can be sent to the server, where it can be checked for accuracy. The data can also be sent to an email address when the user is submitting a job application. The hyperlink can be added to the submit button by choosing an action option when this button is clicked. The user can also reset the form once he is not satisfied with his choices.

Interactive PDF forms or worksheets are excellent options for users because, unlike non-interactive PDF forms, which cannot be filled out online, they are easier to fill in and can be printed out too. While adding such a form, all the fields can be exported to the server for which the user has entered any data or only those that the user has filled.

The latter category of forms must be downloaded, printed, filled out, scanned, and then emailed, which is quite time-consuming.

Interactive PDFs are a good option for sharing sensitive company data for training purposes because they are password protected. You can ensure that only the employees are supposed to open them because they are protected with their credentials.

Hence interactive PDFs are a new revolution in Elearning.

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