There are any number of ways we can communicate with a friend on the other side of the world, and traveling there might be expensive, but it’s pretty straight-forward. Millions of people do this every year. This impacts our outlook on the world we live in and the ways we engage with it. Modern society impacts all of us in many ways. And a meaningful result of this is we all live in a conceptual age – people are high concept – this means we are making connections, detecting patterns and thinking creatively. People like putting the pieces together for themselves and being involved in their own understanding of the world. So, it’s important we present learning in a variety of ways that makes it interesting and allows us to do this, too. And this is as much about the way we design the learning, as it is about the tools and technologies we use to design it.
Instructional designers often look to interactive media to afford learners this experience in online learning. This is because the beauty of interactive media means that we can include many different forms of media – image, sound, text, video, animation – alongside interactive engagement and individual choices and control, all inside a single learning experience. This is especially important when faced with challenging online learning goals.
Case in point – the Picture Superiority Effect is a principle that tells us if we are casually exposed to information, pictures will usually be retained longer than text. Pictures are a more natural way for humans to communicate. According to the dual-coding theory developed by Allan Paivio, memory exists either (or both) verbally (as with text) or “imaginally”. Abstract concepts are recorded only verbally, but concrete concepts presented as pictures are encoded into both systems. Pictures add emotion, which grabs our attention and focus. When combined with text, particularly with text in conflict with the image, it can be very powerful. So, consider if an image is displayed with text, alongside sound and video or animation. And then add the layer of user choice through interactivity. Both retention and comprehension are very likely to improve.
So, if you’re struggling with something challenging for learners to understand in an online course, or just trying to find a way to engage your learners around difficult subject-matter, you might consider interactive media as a e-learning solution and add a little pizzazz to your course! And yes, we do design and develop interactive learning solutions at The Farthest Pixel if you need some help with this! Check out the interactive media solutions on our website. https://thefarthestpixel.com/solutions/