In my previous blog ‘All about INTERACTIVITIES in eLearning – An Introduction’, we have learned what interactivities are, which type of learners benefit most from interactivities and how interactivities result in learner engagement and enhanced learning (click here to read the blog).
In this blog, I shall talk about the different levels of interactivities. The level of interactivities, which an eLearning course can have, depends mainly on the content and the audience. A few examples of interactivities include hyperlinks, navigational features, graphics and animations, audio and video features, exercises and assessments, etc.
There are four levels of interactivities as stated by Lange (2006), Gathany (2012) and the U.S. Department of Defense (1999).
Level 1 – Passive Interaction
The course has a linear structure, which is a basic level; it introduces an idea, or a concept and aims to impart knowledge to the learner. The learner just receives the information and has no control on the course content and its progress; hence the learner has a passive involvement. The learner can view the text, graphics and animations on the screen, and use the navigational features to move ahead.
Examples of passive interaction: Navigational features, pop-ups, roll-overs, single select questions.
Level 2 – Limited Interaction
The learner has more control over the sequence of content, when compared to Level 1. The course gives limited control, where the learner can select the response to the questions posed. After answering, the learner receives feedback, which is critical to reinforce learning.
Examples of limited interaction: Click on numbers, tabs, images, hyperlinks, multiple choice questions.
Level 3 – Complex Interaction
The course has complex interactions, which provide the learners more control on how content is presented. The course interface often includes branching features, to let the learner decide on course progression. The learner has the freedom to decide which topic to learn first and which topic to skip. A scenario is provided, where the learner has to select his response based on what he has learnt.
Examples of complex interaction: Audio, video, animations, branching, simulations (watch, try, and do), and scenarios based questions.
Level 4 – Real-time Interaction
A course that has very complex content and the learner can involve in the simulations and participate in the assessments that are real-time. Here, the learner has full control over the content. Such courses are often aim for collaborative learning, involving a group of learners and facilitators. Developing a course of Level 4 interactions involves huge efforts and high-end technology.
Examples of real-time interaction: Multiple branches, real-time learning and assessment, games, collaborative environment, scenario based questions, where the learner is directed based on the answers he/she selects.
How to select the interactivity level?
Consider the following points before deciding the level of interactivities that need to be used in a course:
- Computer efficiency of the learner.
- Content type – linear or variant topics.
- Scope of the project – budget, time, resources, and other technical compatibility.
Level 1, level 2, and level 3 courses augment learning and do not pose technical challenges to the developers. They are easy to understand for all kinds of learners. However, level 4 courses demand high-level computer knowledge from the learner.
In my next blog, I will detail into the various types of interactivities that can be used in a course. (All about INTERACTIVITIES in eLearning – Types of Interactivities)