Planning with Technology in Mind: Considering the 4 Levels of Interactivity in eLearning Design

As we aim to design learning content for our students in asynchronous, synchronous, blended and/or flipped classrooms, we benefit from considering the 4 Levels of Interactivity for lesson design in elearning environments. There are many ways to transform a boring slide deck presentation with no interactivity into an engaging and interactive lesson that promotes higher level thinking skills. The key is being intentional as we plan. Katica Roy (2006) explained that interactivity is not just about clicking a mouse, but what learners actually do with the information that is important. This interactivity can take the format of an online discussion forum, shared document, a critical review of an image or video in a lesson or applying and transferring the learning in a new way.

Planning for moments of engagement with links to interactive documents and allowing the learner to have choice as they engage with the learning can make all the difference for students in terms of their engagement. You do not need to be a computer wizard to make your learning experiences engaging for students. Including things such as links to a video with a corresponding Jamboardcollaboration document with questions to complete as a student watches a video can take your lesson from ‘blah’ to ‘brilliant’!

Levels of Interactivity Connected to Bloom’s Taxonomy

  • Level 1- This level includes the first two levels of Bloom’s taxonomy; knowledge and comprehension including basic information processing. This will usually incorporate basic slides with some animations. However, the content is primarily information-based. In level 1, the learner is just receiving information in a passive way, with no interaction or control in their own learning.
  • Level 2 -This level includes the application and analysis levels of Bloom’s taxonomy. This includes information application and analytical abilities. It will have everything in level 1, but the learner has some level of engagement with the learning such as opportunities to input text and perhaps some control such as navigation.
  • Level 3 - This level includes synthesis and evaluation. This includes problem-solving and decision-making skills. The learner interacts with the text through click-to-reveal activities, drag and drop, text input and hot spots. There will also be character illustrations and animations. Video is also included in this level. The learner is actively participating in their learning and has opportunities to practice what is learned.
  • Level 4 - Level 4 takes the learning into a game based environment with advanced simulations, gaming, branching scenarios, AR/VR . Interactivity with content is at its most advanced level.

(Levels of Interactivity in Elearning, 2020)

Consideration for these levels of interactivity as you design elearning experiences will allow your students to engage with learning on a deeper level. They will actually retain what you teach! We can only do better when we know better!

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Author: Collette Sylvestre