In first unit of 'See one' you will get the theoretical overview about the interactivity and ways to create learning materials more interactive.

SEE ONE – KNOWLEDGE ABOUT INTERACTIVE MATERIALS (WHAT) What is interaction and interactivity? Self-tests You will know what is interactivity.

Interaction and interactivity

Interaction has been defined by many researchers from many disciplines. Wagner (1994) said that interactions occur when two objects and events mutually influence each other.

Most treatments of the concept of interaction in distance education have been based on Moore's (1989) discussion of three types of interaction: learner‐content, learner‐instructor, and learner‐learner. Hillman et al (1994) noted additional type of interaction - interaction between learner and interface which can be defined as “the process of handling resources that is necessary to carry out its tasks”.

Meaningful interactivity is beneficial for improving understanding of learning contents (Hung, Kinshuk, & Chen, 2018) and is associated with the greatest level of learning (Damnik, Proske, & Körndle, 2017). It presumed to occur in all learning environments (Wei, Peng, & Chou, 2015). Learners can interact with peers and teachers to exchange and share their knowledge, due to emerged computer-based education, new field of study, human-computer interaction, was appeared.

Damnik and his colleagues (2017) have stated three requirements for an interactive instructional task:

  1. learners have to be able to respond to or cooperate with the computer or system in order to manipulate information (e.g. answering multiple-choice questions or editing documents);
  2. interactive activity should encourage learners to perform different cognitive processes which are related to the constructive learning behavior (i.e. selection, organization, integration, and inferring);
  3. interactivity requires interpersonal activities (e.g. dialoguing with a learning partner).

Evans and Sabry (2003) proposed a simple three-way model (computer-initiation, learner-response, and computer-feedback) to address the concept of interactivity in an online multimedia learning environment. This model parallels the common classroom three-step interaction pattern (teacher's initiation, students' response, and teacher's feedback (Wei et al., 2015). With progress of Internet technology the concept of interactivity was extended in online learning into five interaction types: the learner-self, learner-learner, learner-instructor, learner-content, and learner-interface types.

In an interactive multimedia environment, learners may be able to choose a topic to investigate, control the pace of a presentation, or answer questions and receive feedback about the content presented. They may perform simulated experiments in an on-screen chemistry lab by controlling parameters, collaborate to solve puzzles by sliding shapes across a screen etc (Schwartz & Plass, 2014). Users accomplish these tasks through a variety of actions supported by a variety of interfaces. For example, they may enter text on a keyboard, click a mouse, drag and drop objects on a touch screen, wave a controller, or jump up and down in front of a Kinect sensor (Schwartz & Plass, 2014).

In older learning environments interactivity meant simply clicking on the mouse and typing with the keyboard, which are barely related to the learning content. Nowadays learning environments provide learners to directly interact with the learning content through speech communications and bodily experiences or actions (Hung, Kinshuk, & Chen, 2018). In each case, it is user-performed tasks, in conjunction with system responses, which drive the action. Learners have the opportunity not just to act, but to interact, and it is often assumed that these interactions provide rich opportunities for learning (Schwartz & Plass, 2014).

Learning material is interactive when it reacts to student activity (mouse clicks, input, etc) and is directed by student. For instance, interactivity enables to move within the learning module with the help of glossary or navigation buttons, manage the timeline of video clip or animation, fill fields or click choice buttons, open additional windows. (Pilt, Tartes and Marandi, 2014)

Composed by Piret Luik and Lehti Pilt

Implementation of Interactive Learning resourses in Estonian High Schools (Mart Laanpere, Tallinn University)

Exercise about interactivity

Possibilities to present information


Text versus interactive implementation

Look two examples where content is presented as text and as interactive implementation. Which type seems better?

Done by H5P agamotto exercise type.


Recap of central points covered in see one what sections: