Automated Feedback and Interactions: What Makes a Good Interactive
Automated Feedback and Interactions
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What Makes a Good Interactive?
The aforementioned interactions all have weak and strong aspects. Placement, well-written feedback, and flow are important to consider.
Strong content and confidence in the course structure will lead to logical placement of interactions. For example, a multiple choice quiz is a good way to sum up a lengthy page of text to test the learner. A tabs interaction helps break up content that can easily be categorized. Too many interactions, or interactions placed in random areas of the course won’t be as effective. There is no hard and fast rule - an understanding of how the interaction works, a sense of basic aesthetics, and a holistic view of the course are critical to logical design interactions. Automated feedback, too, has its drawbacks.
Because automated feedback is the same for every student, it should be written comprehensively. Automated feedback in interactions can be enhanced by taking more time to write effective feedback. Instead of simply responding “Correct” or “Incorrect,” it is advisable to let the learner know why. When the response is correct, the learner should receive an affirmative explanation. When incorrect, feedback should encourage the learner to visit a specific chapter, page, or concept to review the material.
Of course, should the designer have the opportunity to work with adaptive learning systems, the design changes. SmartSparrow is a company that advertises adaptive learning: “With Adaptive Pathways, when students hit a roadblock, you can direct them to resources that help remediate their misconception. Or when students successfully grasp a concept, you can ‘fast-track’ those students and offer more content to stretch their knowledge.”
Psychologically, humans desire a harmonized user experience that can be termed as “flow.” Interactions that make sense at the time it is presented help to create that harmonization. As Csikszentmihalyi (1990, p. 239) writes in Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience:
When we can imagine only few opportunities and few possibilities, it is relatively easy to achieve harmony. Desires are simple, choices clear. There is little room for conflict and no need to compromise. This is the order of simple systems -- order by default, as it were.