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Design Principles for Developing Online Interactive Activities

Dr Sonia Wilkie,
Mr Ghaith Zakaria

Victoria University


Online Interactive Activities are becoming increasingly popular at many universities as a method for introducing Blended Active Learning experiences. The advancement of technology has meant that the so ware toolkits which are used to develop the online interactives no longer require experienced multimedia designers to create content. Teachers and Educational Support Staff now have the power to design and develop their own activities. Whilst many people understand that skills and knowledge surrounding the use of the tools and the technical parameters need to be learned, elements of design also need to be considered and appreciated for the development of quality learning experiences. In this presentation we consider design principles to prompt active learning and encourage student engagement.

The design principles include consideration of Cognitive Load Theory and how the theory impacts on student learning; Consideration of the different presentation methods and sensory modalities used to acquire the information; Selective inclusion of key information; Segmenting content into bite-sized portions which allows the learners to engage with the content with minimal distraction from external factors.

Presenting the information as bite-sized portions also increases sustainability of the modules as the small portions are easily transferred and adapted across different subjects; Incorporating active learning strategies via the different interactive functionalities and student Check your knowledge activities at regular points which assist learners to gauge their comprehension, allowing them to scaffold their own learning and prompting revision of concepts which they have not yet grasped; and finally consideration is how the online interactive activities are scaffolded across the subject, and on a broader level across the course to ensure familiarity, diversity and novelty.

Examples demonstrating these design principles applied to H5P Online Interactive Activities and the impact it has had on student engagement and their assessments at Anonymous University will be presented at the conference. Anecdotal evidence further demonstrating the impact on student learning from both staff and students has been positive and is also presented.