How interactive video scenarios can supercharge your learning

Young man enjoys elearning with interactive video

Interactive video throws the typical linear format out the window. Instead of pressing play and watching the video through, interactive video enables users to engage with the video content through unique actions like clicking, dragging, scrolling, etc. Viewer activity alters the course of the video, personalizing the experience for everyone who participates.

Content creators building the ultimate interactive video experience have several functionalities at their disposal. Here you’ll find a list of the most popular options:

  • Hotspots: Clickable spots throughout the video that allow the viewer to click onto another page or open a pop-up with more content within the video.
  • Branches: Provides alternate paths that allow the viewer to “choose their own adventure” (or simply choose the content path most relevant to their interests).
  • 180/360 views: Allow the viewer to drag their screen to view the video content in all directions.
  • Data inputs: Viewers can type information directly into the video.
  • Quizzes: Buttons appear in response to questions. The viewer’s answers dictate their personalized result at the end.

Interactive video elements - hotspots, branching pathways, 180/360 views, data inputs and quizzes

Benefits of interactive video for learning

Every time a TikTok hits the internet, our collective attention span shrinks (just kidding, sort of). Our average attention span these days is about 8 seconds– if we aren’t engaged, that is. Marketers on TikTok claim that videos have 3 seconds to grab the viewer’s attention before they scroll past. The difference between the TikTok you swipe past and the one that snags you within that three-second window is pretty comparable to the difference between linear video and interactive video– one is more engaging than the other.

Traditional video requires viewers to pay attention without any real connection to what is playing in front of them. If they aren’t super interested in the content, chances are their minds will drift. This affects the training video’s effectiveness and impairs future recall of vital information.

Interactive video uses gamification scenarios to entice viewers, reigniting their attention with each hotspot, question, or branching opportunity they encounter. This transforms the way viewers learn, connecting them to the video by forcing their frontal lobes to initiate motor movements and cognitive skills simultaneously. Here are some of the many ways interactive video and VR improve engagement and enhance learning outcomes:

Boosts engagement

Training with interactive scenarios transforms the learning experience. Interactive tools empower learners to take charge of their education and keep them engaged throughout the entire video. Linear video cannot accomplish higher levels of cognition like interactive video can. Interactive video uses checkpoints to help viewers assess their understanding of the concept as they learn.

Man completely engrossed in interactive video learning

Instead of potentially checking out after the first minute of a training session, viewers spearhead their own training sessions by clicking through the video. In some cases, users have to engage with the video to complete it. All this interaction helps form deeper memories, which improves recall. Utilizing virtual reality (an immersive form of interactive video) for medical training resulted in 130% better knowledge retention scores.

Interactive video allows learners to experience edge cases in a low-risk environment. Branching scenario software shows viewers the consequences of certain actions in extreme cases without compromising safety.


Training videos are evergreen. You create them once and they’re technically usable until the information needs updating. The problem here is that effective training requires the level of engagement and accountability that an instructor brings to the learning experience. Instead of just watching a video, the instructor gives prompts and asks questions, ensuring everyone grasps the concepts as they watch. Allocating company time toward training new employees on the same subject, again and again, isn’t the most efficient way to spend your learning budget.

Interactive videos combine the accountability and cognitive benefits of using an instructor with the evergreen nature of training videos.

Interactive videos combine the accountability and cognitive benefits of using an instructor with the evergreen nature of training videos. Instruct employees to watch and interact with the video, then use analytics to track how they understand and engage with the content. Teams can use the same video until it requires an update without worrying about allocating a manager’s expensive working hours to instructing the groups.

By using VR scenarios to train 10 salespeople per month, Purina saved $100,000 per year on travel and lost productivity alone. Hilton Hotels used VR to reduce training time from 4 hours to just 20 minutes.


Viewers can learn asynchronously with interactive video. It creates a more immersive learning experience, enhances recall, improves understanding, and enables experiential learning without requiring the viewer to be in a specific location at a set time.

Enables the “just-in-time” learning model

While interactive training videos result in higher recall than traditional linear videos, employees are bound to forget the content of the video eventually. When that happens, they can easily revisit the videos to refresh their understanding of important concepts. Viewers can even follow the “just-in-time” learning model, a method where viewers learn what they need as the need becomes apparent. Whenever they encounter a roadblock, they can pull up the corresponding training video and use it to walk them through the task.

Start creating interactive video and VR

Creating immersive training content is easier than you think if you have the right interactive video software. Use video files, presentation slides, graphics, animations, and more to breathe life into your training videos.

Start by signing up for a Near-Life free trial. This will give you access to our quick-start tutorial guide and everything you need to pick a demo scenario and learn how to make interactive video. Alternatively, upload your own video content or other media to create your first video. Once that’s done, share your video straight from the interactive video authoring tool and use our intelligent insights to track how your viewers engage.

Creative team enjoy making interactive video scenarios

Our software is currently used in retail, healthcare, and even for emergency response training supported by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Immersive videos improve retention by up to 90% and are watched 44% longer than traditional videos. Ready to revolutionize the way your team learns? Sign up for our 14-day free trial, no credit card info required.

Need to find out more? Get in touch with our team.

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