Designing for interaction with content

Engaging with course content materials should never be just passive. Even the traditional large group lecture has better learning outcomes when the teacher provides opportunities for students to engage, question, interact and apply the information being covered, rather than just passively listening.

Learner – content interaction, with cognitive presence, refers to the intellectual engagement with course concepts that results in changes in the learner's understanding, skills, or perspective. Examples of interaction with content include: presentations, watching video of lectures, solving problem sets, taking notes on textbook readings, participating in a game based content, or completing chapter quizzes.

The following table is a short list of commonly used teaching strategies to increase interaction with content in both face-to-face and online environments. Many of the learning activities have the same learning outcomes, but achieved with different approaches or tools.

  Face to face interaction Online interaction
Go find Search the campus for key landmarks, offices of student supports and services, library etc Navigate the Moodle site in search of key resources
Jigsaw Different groups of students are asked to research and present different components of the content in class Different groups of students are asked to research and present different components of the content in a virtual learning session, forum, glossary or Wiki
Polls or voting A show of hands or anonymous polling on the understanding of concepts covered in class Electronic polling on the understanding of concepts covered in online materials
Guest speakers Presentation or Q&A in a lecture or class with an industry expert Video interview or Q&A forum with industry expert.
Design a solution Pose a case study, question or application activity within the content for students to design and bring to class for discussion. Pose a case study, question or application activity within the content for students to design and post on a forum, glossary, Wiki or ePortfolio.
Share a resource Students bring to class one resource to support the current topic Students post one resource to support the current topic
One minute paper OR Concept mapping At the beginning or end of class to reflect on current knowledge or understanding. Can be shared in class or completed individually. At the beginning or end of class to reflect on current knowledge or understanding. Can be shared in a forum or completed individually.
Game show Simulate a contemporary game show format – great fun for revision of content at the end of the semester Simulate a contemporary game show format using a Moodle lesson – great fun for revision of content at the end of the semester

Gamification

Gamification is the integration of gaming into learning experiences to increase engagement and motivation. The practice includes applying gaming elements, rewards, levels, and challenges to different contexts – in this case learning content. Taking a gamification approach to a course can involve a lot of design work, but can also reap significant benefits in terms of engaging students and increasing motivation. This video explores some innovative ideas behind gamification in higher education and value of playing games in learning.

Resources, strategies or assistance

Resources – Text/articles

  • Lee, J. & Hammer, J. (2011). Gamification in Education: What, How, Why Bother? Academic Exchange Quarterly, 15(2).

Resources - Websites

Assistance