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Interactivity: From an Instructional Designer’s Perspective

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Instructional designers would have heard this term a number of times while designing an e-learning course. Interactivity, is one of the most common expectations that a client has, while attending an e-learning course. Moreover, clients are of the opinion that without interactivity, an e-learning course would only be a page turner, like a book. Therefore, to meet client expectations and to engage the learner to maximize learning, instructional designers have to make judicious use of interactivity while designing an e-learning course.

Interactivity - From an Instructional Designers Perspective

What is interactivity?

The term “interactivity” does not mean clicking on buttons or watching animated videos. Rather, with interactivity an instructional designer prompts the learner to actively participate in the course. Interactivity allows the learner to explore new frontiers of knowledge, to face challenges and to take decisions, and to make mistakes without losing interest.

Adults have a deep need to be self-directing. Therefore, making choices, answering questions and going through simulations, not only engages the learner but also prompts them to learn and explore more.

How to make judicious use of interactivity?

Though it is a fact that interactivities boost learning and the learner’s experience, from an instructional designer’s perspective, it is always important to know the appropriate levels of interactivity required, to choose the correct interaction strategy. Also, the use of interactivity should be logical with the flow of the course, and should be used where it fits best.

What are the benefits of interactivity?

Interactivity and engagement of the learner work hand in hand. Interactivity enables the learners to remain actively engaged in the course and helps them to learn at a faster pace. Therefore, with interactivity, instructional designers are in a better position to trigger the learner’s attention, thought and motivation. Learners are able to grasp and retain information that is being taught. Moreover, interactivity can be used as an evaluation method – to assess the transfer and retention of knowledge. As with other interactivities, after every unit there is an internal assessment which stimulates thinking and decision making by the learners.

If an instructional designer devotes more time to creating logical interactivity, the goal of making learning happen can be achieved.

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  • Hari Prakash

    Highly useful information.Most of the IDs feel that creating buttons, tabs solve the purpose of interactivity. I too was of the opinion that the interactivity should force the learners to think or make him more curious. But, it is only on my head. While developing course, I too struggle to devise appropriate interactivity. Can you involve me in your course-ware development one way or another. I’ll appreciate it.