Saturday, September 3, 2011

Enhancing Interactions with Media Elements

A few years back, e-learning courses were largely static, with a few interactions here and there. As interactivity takes center stage, more and more learning happens through interactions. A learner may spend more time working through a simulation, playing a game or exploring an interactive visual than reading the course material. With this, course developers are increasingly feeling the need to provide additional information elements within interactions.

A large number of interactions today are developed using interaction templates. Templates can however be limiting when it comes to providing additional content elements. For example, consider an interactive Android phone tutorial where the learner rolls her mouse cursor over parts of the phone and explores its features. Now suppose the tutorial designer wants to provide a link to a Wikipedia article on Android - or to a Youtube video featuring the phone device. How cool will it be if the designer could add a button to the interaction itself, linking to the article or the video?

There are several use cases where media elements enhance the impact of interactions:
  • Assessments where the learner watches a video and then answers questions. 
  • A set of flash cards where the learner gets to pop up a text that explains a mnemonic to memorize what's on the cards. 
Diehard fans of Raptivity loved the Raptivity Media Toolbox that was showcased in a recent webinar. Using the Media Toolbox, a course designer can add custom buttons or hotspots to an interaction.
Raptivity Media Toolbox
Each button or hotspot can lead to a hyperlink, which can be a web URL. A button can also pop up a video (.flv/.f4v), an image (.jpg, .png, .gif) or  text.

Buttons work great  for learners who  have the curiosity to click and discover extra content. In other cases, you simply embed text or image media in the interaction - and the media will simply show when the interaction is displayed - no clicking is required. A video can also be embedded, so it starts playing as soon as the interaction loads.

This feature set provides advanced flexibility to Raptivity. Presently it works with certain packs of Raptivity 6.5. For more information visit and explore the power of Media Toolbox.

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