Pedagogy of teaching with interactive materials

SEE ONE – KNOWLEDGE ABOUT INTERACTIVE MATERIALS (WHAT) What is interaction and interactivity? Self-tests You will know what is interactivity.
SEE ONE – REASON TO DO INTERACTIVE MATERIALS (WHY) Benefits for using interactive materials in teaching Self-tests, reflecting question You will know how interactive content contributes to learning.
SEE ONE - PEDAGOGY FOR PRACTICING INTERACTIVE MATERIALS (HOW) Types of interactive content. Ways to create learning materials more interactive. Teaching with interactive materials. Interactive presentation, reflecting questions You will know the types of interactive content and possibilities for creating learning materials more interactive.

The pedagogy of using interactive materials base on cognitive theories

Cognitive constructivism focus to the learner’s own process of actively constructing models of learning through interaction with their environment. Piaget’s (1950; 1970) developmental model of learning were the pioneer works on this model. On the basis of long-term, detailed observation of children’s development, Piaget suggested that a child’s cognitive structure develops through a series of distinct stages. His significant contribution was in drawing attention to the active role of children themselves in this process. He demonstrated that, rather than simply undergoing an inevitable maturing process, the children’s development occurs through their active interaction with the environment in different ways.

Cognitive constructivism started from this understanding of child development and applied it to all learners, examining learners’ participation in the learning process through the active construction of new models, engaging in new experiences and thereby building on and extending their existing schemata. Learning becomes an active process: not the accumulation of ‘truth’ or ‘knowledge’, but an ongoing dynamic of personal construction of meaning.

Cognitive constructivist theories of instruction reflect this understanding. For example, this is the principle behind Bruner’s (1960, 1977) ‘spiral curriculum’. Bruner suggests that the basic principles of any subject can be grasped very early on in its study, if the learner is helped to discover the underlying cognitive structure of the subject in a way that both fires their imagination and fits in with their existing modes of thinking. Thereafter, their learning proceeds by rearranging new evidence in a meaningful way within these existing basic structures. The role of the educator is to present new material and experiences in a way that facilitates this process; but it is the learners themselves who construct their own learning.

In terms of adult learning, cognitive constructivist theories would suggest that it is important to allow learners the choice and autonomy to develop their learning in their own way, by giving them space to follow their own individual interests and understandings, and by recognising that this process will be different for each learner.

Cognitive Theory of Multimedia Learning

The principle known as the “multimedia principle” states that people learn more deeply from words and pictures than from words alone. However, simply adding words to pictures is not an effective way to achieve multimedia learning. The goal is to instructional media in the light of how human mind works. This is the basis for Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning. This theory proposes three main assumptions when it comes to learning with multimedia:

  • There are two separate channels (auditory and visual) for processing information (sometimes referred to as Dual-Coding theory);
  • Each channel has a limited (finite) capacity (similar to Sweller’s notion of Cognitive Load);
  • Learning is an active process of filtering, selecting, organizing, and integrating information based upon prior knowledge.

Humans can only process a finite amount of information in a channel at a time, and they make sense of incoming information by actively creating mental representations. Mayer also discusses the role of three memory stores: sensory (which receives stimuli and stores it for a very short time), working (where we actively process information to create mental constructs (or ‘schema’), and long-term (the repository of all things learned). Mayer’s cognitive theory of multimedia learning presents the idea that the brain does not interpret a multimedia presentation of words, pictures, and auditory information in a mutually exclusive fashion; rather, these elements are selected and organized dynamically to produce logical mental constructs. Furthermore, Mayer underscores the importance of learning (based upon the testing of content and demonstrating the successful transfer of knowledge) when new information is integrated with prior knowledge.

Design principles including providing coherent verbal, pictorial information, guiding the learners to select relevant words and images, and reducing the load for a single processing channel etc. can be entailed from this theories.

Cognitic Theory of Multimedia Learning (Mayer)

Sourse: Pedagogical and didactic aspects on use of digital media in education by Piedade Vaz Rebelo, Univeristy of Coimbra (2018)

Samford University (2015). Source: YouTube

Look the more widely spread types of interactive content

Presentation is done with H5P course presentation type - presentation with interactive slides.

Read more about types of interactive content


Additional reading

5 Tips To Transform Your Training Materials Into Engaging eLearning:

The Evolution of the Web (interactive timeline):

Recap of central points covered in See one How Sections:

Reflecting questions

Think about!

  • What types of interactive content can you use in your subject?
  • What kind of interactive content would you like to create?