Tuesday, January 10, 2006

What is Rapid Interactivity?

Course creators know of Rapid Authoring, and Programmers are aware of Rapid Application Development. The general idea is the same: waste less time and effort, get more bang for the buck. For those people who need to build interactive content, there has been a need for something on those lines. Rapid Interactivity is a new paradigm, which answers this unmet need.

Rapid interactivity involves a process using which people can quickly and easily create non-trivial interactions. This is done not by programming, but by customizing interaction models, templates where someone has already done the programming for you.

Interaction Models
Rapid interactivity is based on interaction models. An interaction model is a template which one can easily change (customize) to create interactivity. With interaction models at hand, you don't have to build interactivity from scratch. For example, a labeling exercise which allows you to change the diagram to be labeled, label locations and contents is an interaction model. Using this interaction model, you can make the changes and deploy several labeling exercises quickly, and without programming.

Estimating the Payoff
The value rapid interactivity can bring to your e-learning initiative depends on many factors. If you do not create interactive content, and do not plan to, then obviously you don't need rapid interactivity. This was the case in one situation where the requirement was simply to create learning guides which would be printed and circulated.

On the other hand, if you do foresee the need for greater interactivity especially on an ongoing basis, you should consider rapid interactivity.

Your payoff will depend on the number, variety and suitability of interaction models you have in your library. The larger your library, the greater choice you will have in selecting interaction models suited to your instructional goals.

Best Practices
From a productivity perspective, it helps to group interaction models into categories, so that it is easy to locate and compare them. So you can have all your interactive diagrams in one category, games in another, simulations in a third, brainteasers in yet another and so forth.

It also helps to tag the models with the instructional goal they serve. Conversely, you may map an instructional goal with several models that are designed for it. Thus, an instructional goal such as "memorizing" may map to several models, including "labeling exercise", "recall and pair game" etc.

Harbinger Knowledge Products has recently announced the release of Raptivity, the world’s first and only rapid interactivity builder. Raptivity is based on Harbinger's patent-pending technology for rapid interactivity building. With Raptivity, users can rapidly add interactivity to their eLearning content. Users can continue to use their existing authoring environment, and use Raptivity to add zest to their content. The Raptivity-generated learning experiences are instructionally sound, easily embeddable, and professionally designed.

Trainers, educators and subject matter experts prefer an easy tool for content development and therefore rapid authoring tools become their obvious choice. However, they have had to turn to complex tools for adding interactivity. Raptivity promises to change that.