The Evolving Role of Interactive Learning Technology
What is Interactive Learning?
Interactive learning can be traced back to the early 1900s where an early form of distance education was available with students completing coursework, communicating with their instructors by mail.
With the advent of technology interactive learning has evolved and computer programmes now teach basic skills, and interactive multimedia allows a wider range of subjects to be learnt at home giving greater flexibility and personalized learning experiences.
Another dimension was enabled with the rise of the internet giving access to courses and education from around the world using online platforms. Today interactive learning continues to evolve with the growth of mobile devices, social media and virtual reality providing more opportunities to learn, collaborate and engage.
Broadly speaking, interactive learning involves participation from the learner and some form of practical or hands-on experience and interaction. This can take the form of group discussions, role play, problem solving and simulations or experiments. This style of learning encourages participation and gives the opportunity for students to ask questions and develop their critical thinking skills. Interactive learning also provides the forum for immediate feedback which helps learners identify areas for improvement, and build on their strengths and weaknesses.
Interactive Learning Trends
There were numerous trends in learning predicted this year but some interactive learning trends to have on your radar include growth in the following areas:
Gamification - this is the use of games within learning with the purpose of increasing motivation and engagement, giving learners the opportunity to earn points or complete levels within a game to achieve targets and rewards. It brings a social aspect to learning which can be shared with friends and peers. Studies show that 80% of US workers find game-based learning more engaging and enjoyable than traditional methods.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) - AI is changing learning by offering a more personalized approach. While it is still in its infancy, educators are exploring how they can make better use of AI powered resources and tools to help students improve and hone their skills, and also how bots can be used to give instant feedback.
VR / AR technology - both VR & AR can be used to create highly engaging and immersive learning experiences. Virtual and augmented reality can provide an interactive environment with the simulation of real-life scenarios to enhance practical learning.
Nanolearning - this is a type of learning designed to provide learners with short, concise programs on a given topic without interacting with a physical instructor. Using electronic media such as quick tutorials, short videos and infographics, Nanolearning can help focus on particular areas or subjects and deliver a higher level of engagement thanks to its shorter duration.
Collaborative learning - peer-to-peer learning and group work has become popular in recent years and promotes teamwork, problem solving and communication skills. By using collaborative learning smaller groups of learners can work together on an activity or project and share tasks to achieve a common goal.
Blended or hybrid learning - this type of learning has seen the greatest growth over recent years and provides the flexibility to learn either face-to-face in person or online - with sometimes a mix of both approaches. The type of learning can be undertaken either independently or facilitated using dedicated hybrid learning technology.
Getting started with interactive learning technology
Technology plays a critical role in interactive learning and enables students to experience learning in a way that hasn’t previously been possible. It opens up a new broad spectrum of opportunities with innovative new ways to learn in a more flexible and personalized way.
For effective interactive learning there are several key components that are required:
Hardware - at least some sort of hardware is required for interactive learning whether that’s a computer, tablet or mobile, this enables students to undertake the learning and access course materials
Software - software applications are used to provide content and learning experiences online. This may come in the form of learning management systems (LMS), virtual classrooms, multimedia and video content.
Content - all types of content are relevant with interactive learning as it helps bring a subject to life and create an interactive learning experience. This can include videos, animations, quizzes, podcasts, and e-books. A mix of different types of multimedia content is often used to make learning engaging, interactive and memorable.
Connectivity - to participate effectively learners need to be able to access course materials easily, and communicate with other students and the instructor. To help with this it’s key to have a reliable internet connection to facilitate learning.
User Interface - technology should be easy to use and navigate and have an intuitive interface that enables users to find things quickly, communicate with others, access materials when needed, and ultimately help them learn.
Data analytics - tracking learner engagement, participation and progress is key with any type of learning. Technology that supports interactive learning will often have an integrated form of data analytics or module giving access to the organization or trainer to make decisions and give valuable insight.
Students who learn using interactive learning methods enjoy the flexibility and personalized approach but with the support of technology can also experience benefits that include:
Content - access to new content and course materials from anywhere in the world. With technology now more accessibility across a range of devices learners have the flexibility and freedom to absorb valuable information and experience from diverse perspectives from any location.
Personalization - with the evolution of technology new solutions and programmes are now available to provide a more personalized learning journey. This can support the needs of individual students and alongside learning data and statistics can help manage the pace of learning and track learner progress.
Collaboration - technology provides a forum to share knowledge and ideas in real-time regardless of location whether it’s via online forums, video conferencing or virtual classrooms. This opens up a new breadth of learning experiences and provides the invaluable opportunity for collaboration with peers and teaching professionals globally.
Feedback and assessment - using technology with interactive learning helps provide instant feedback to quickly identify areas for improvement and development. Using technology for assessment can also help instructors monitor and track learner progress and identify areas of difficulty to provide further support.
X2O Bridges the Gap Between Traditional and Interactive Learning
Finding ways to bridge the gap between traditional and interactive learning can be difficult as each approach brings its own strengths and weaknesses. By creating a blended learning experience that uses technology learners can benefit from the collaborative approach of interactive learning but enjoy the benefit of face-to-face learning too.
X2O Media provides a blended learning approach with its X2O OneRoom solution which provides an immersive training and learning environment for students globally.
OneRoom is equipped with a full scope of technology, including dedicated cameras, high-definition audio, and collaboration tools giving each learner their own dedicated seat regardless of whether they are in the physical room or joining remotely.
The solution’s intelligent breakout groups and poll features enable effective collaboration, and its intuitive user interface allows attendees to participate and engage with each other. With a dedicated content repository and ability to share a broad range of content participants have the freedom to learn using a variety of types of tools.
Get in touch if you would like to discuss how OneRoom can provide an innovative and interactive way to deliver your learning and training.