In the previous K-12 e-learning project I supported, interactive media can facilitate in-class engagement and improve learning gains. The duration of one typical virtual class is around forty minutes with a ten-minute break. Generally, teachers will mainly focus on delivering the learning content, and hence the time spent helping students recall and review prior knowledge is limited. With the support from interactive media, especially the pre-recorded storytelling video, students would be engaged in class as the complex concept is conveyed more holistically via videos than textbooks that are given to students to review. Meanwhile, the course will be more effective. Other advantages of using interactive media would be its multidimensional sensory path. “video offers learning benefits as compared to more one-dimensional forms of content, because it incorporates visuals, moving images, and sound in a cohesive track” (Burmark 2004; Hibbing and Rakin-Erikson 2003), which might be a good extension of the virtual class as they share similar learning path. Students’ self-efficiency is essential in virtual lessons. Providing students with interactive-media-supported learning content will prompt them to gradually form quality habits like concentration and autonomy during online classes. Besides, having students “experienced the same instructions using the same rate of speech and the same voice intonations” is not possible in a virtual class (Shelton, 2016, p. 8).
The challenges in the case discussed above are similar to those mentioned in this week’s reading — the technological malfunction. If problems occur during learning, there would be no one who could help students solve the issues in time. Although the research conducted by Kwok et al. (2016) indicates that children performed equally well in the Interactive Media conditions as they did in the face-to-face condition” (p. 7), the premise is that the technological issue won’t happen. They also mentioned some children might need parents’ help to use the mobile device, which implicitly implies that the technical problem might stunt children’s learning and generate negative emotions. Another challenge is the parents’ perception of students using smart devices. Although the number of devices is now more significant than the number of people, some parents and schools still regard it as a way of entrainment, causing “a majority of parents believe that any learning from touch-screen devices is inferior to that acquired through real-world experiences and interactions” (Wooldridge, 2016).
Except for the challenges the interactive media are facing, I think it still has great potentials to enhance student learning and support education in a disruptive way.
Kwok, K., Ghrear, S., Li, V., Haddock, T., Coleman, P., & Birch, S. J. (2016, October 25). Children can learn new facts equally well from interactive media versus face to face instruction. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.01603
Shelton, C., Warren, A., & Archambault, L.M. (2016). Exploring the use of interactive digital storytelling video: Promoting student engagement and learning in a university hybrid course. TechTrends, 60(5), 465-474. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11528-016-0082-z