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Human interaction: Offline- and online interactivity in learning

Learning design is tech-neutral, which means even though the term was born in our tech-savvy digital age, it works equally good for offline traditional education. Since what you want to accomplish with your learning design is the best possible mix of interaction that works for all students. Patricia Santos writes in Clomedia.com: “If you’re not seeing high levels of learner engagement, skills transfer or business impact the first step toward a solution may be to improve the interactivity of your training and learning experiences.” This could be done with engaging storytelling, case studies, and testimonials. And she identifies the following four points to design effective interactive learning experiences:

  1. Avoid overflowing the student with information, deliver it step-by-step.
  2. Tech can really improve the learning experience but only used in the right way and with the right proportion.
  3. Make the learning experience relevant in time and space.
  4. Make learning social and fun.

A great example of this is a gamification application that introduces children to life in a surveillance state. It is like entering Orwell’s “1984” in the form of a game. The application is used in UK-schools and is an online game where the pupils are going through an Orwellian landscape and receive scores while the teacher gets data of the pupils’ behavior and abilities. Laura R. Pinkerton, a researcher in education at the University of Oxford comments in the following way: “But while the gamification of the classroom through educational software is clearly less physically violent than corporal punishment, we shouldn’t fool ourselves into believing that gamification is a universally fun and engaging experience for all children.”

In the end of the day, it all comes down to how the learning experience is designed, which means the teaching, the mix of interactivity, the level of personalization, the power of the content, the storytelling, the level of engaging the student’s curiosity and to have fun etc. Learning design skills, both on- and offline, is already today important and people with such skills will experience a tremendous growth of opportunities during the coming years.

Written by
LarsGoran Bostrom©

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