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published: March 2004
analytic scripts updated:  October 28, 2010

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0  License



Successful Online Learning Interactives
Steven Allison-Bunnell, Educational Web Adventures, USA
David Schaller, Educational Web Adventures LLP, USA

Workshop: Learning Interactives

Developing engaging and effective online learning interactives requires an understanding of many things. Subject knowledge and technical expertise are often emphasized, but just as critical are understanding the target audience and theories of learning as applied to the Web. In this workshop, participants will explore ways to define their audience(s) and apply several learning theories to educational Web development.

The workshop will examine learning goal setting and the content development process, using an Interactivity Design planning process to help structure the development cycle from concept to implementation. While we will consider some technical features and limitations of the Web, this workshop will not teach technical skills such as HTML or graphics. Rather, we'll focus on the creative process of conceiving an online learning experience that meets the needs and interests of its intended audience and successfully conveys the intended message.

Participants should bring a subject area idea (such as "art principles" or "physics of space flight") for a Web activity to the workshop. Selected ideas will be used during small group exercises.


9:00-9:15 Introductions

9:15-9:30 The Interactivity Design process and checklist; how it works

Discuss the goals of online learning activities: What are they trying to accomplish: content knowledge, conceptual leaps, behavioral change, etc.?

9:30-9:45 Working in small groups, establish the goals for a web activity using the Learning Goals Worksheet as template.

9:45-10:30 The concept development process: applying learning theory

How Howard Gardner's Entry Points and Keiran Egan's Kinds of Understanding can inform the concept and approach of the web activity.

10:30-10:45 Coffee break

11:00-11:45 Working in small groups, work through the concept development steps of the Interactivity Design checklist to brainstorm concepts for the activity. Identify Gardner's Entry Points and use Egan's Kinds of Understanding to frame the activity concept. Discuss ways to create active learning experiences that take advantage of Web media.

11:45-12:00 Large group discussion of the concept development process.

12:00-1:00 Lunch

1:00-1:30 Types of Web activities: best fit for content and audience.

1:30-2:15 Working in small groups, choose an activity type and outline the activity sequence.

2:15-2:45 Large group discussion of the activity planning process.

2:45-3:00 Snack break

3:00-3:15 Design charette: share group Activity Outlines.

3:15-3:50 Group discussion of the development process. What were the challenges and payoffs of using the process?

3:50-4:00 Workshop evaluations and wrap-up.