Make online information come alive with interactivity


Interactivity helps explain why the sky is blue.


Some subjects are naturally difficult to teach, while others are perceived as tedious. Teaching through the use of static text and images leads to a passive learning experience that doesn’t engage students. As a result, students’ attentions wane and the information isn’t assimilated.


Introduce interactivity to your web site and enhance the learning experience. Interactivity makes information come alive, and is the next best thing to hands-on learning.

Interactivity can be incorporated through a variety of techniques, including comparing data and images; interacting with objects; providing visitors with insight and a context for which to assimilate information; implementing an inviting user interface; designing content for easy navigability; and creating an online community.


Interactivity makes students into detectives. Here, students look at X-ray images of a painting through a spyglass.


Over the last two decades, many notions for displaying data and information have passed through phases of theory, exploration, abstraction, and demonstration. Computers capable of real-time visual manipulation are now mainstream and commonplace. The vast majority of online visitors now have browsers capable of advanced interactivity. Network connections and hardware allow ever-faster data transfers, and video will soon be a common component of the online experience.

Cooperative learning theory stresses that the best learning occurs when students are actively engaged in the learning process and working in collaboration with other students to accomplish a shared goal. Online education is an excellent way to facilitate cooperative learning because traditional text can be intermingled with interactive exercises, so that students have a balanced approach. For example, students can pace themselves while reading some sections and completing additional interactive experiences alone or in cooperation with others.

The best learning is experiential, as when students really go out into nature, or on ships, or to hospitals, or into outer space. Although such real-world travel is unrealistic or impossible, the use of web technology creates interactive possibilities that are limited only by the imagination.

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