The transfer teaching method based on the Behaviorism approach emphasizes the one-way knowledge transfer from the teacher to the student. In this case, the desired knowledge or content is broken into smaller pieces as much as possible to facilitate the transmission of the message from the sender (teacher) to the receiver (learner). As time passed and with the development of cognitivism, the forms and shortcomings of the Behaviorism approach as an educational approach were highlighted.
One of the most essential criticisms in this regard was the weak role of the learner in the education process. Cognitivism did not consider the transfer of knowledge to be enough for learning. Instead, Cognitivists believed that learning would be more lasting and more profound with a more active role of the student and interaction with the teacher.
Therefore, the transfer teaching method was gradually replaced with active forms of teaching and learning. The two-way interaction between the teacher and the student and, later, between the students was emphasized. In this way, the atmosphere of conversation-oriented classrooms became more lively and active than before.
At first, it was thought that text-based content (printed or digital), even when accompanied by images or educational videos, would have the same role as a transmitter of knowledge, and there would not be any interaction. But gradually, educators tried to create ways to communicate with the audience and to assign a role beyond the reader of the text or the viewer of a video to them. For example, inserting some thought-provoking questions in the text would help the reader to think about the answers to the questions while reading the text. Here it comes to Interactivity.
Interactivity happens when the reader answers a question to ensure its correctness, shares his answer with another student, or asks and gets answers to his questions. In this case, the teacher can claim that he had simulated the conditions of the face-to-face and interactive class to some extent.
With the increasing progress of all kinds of technology and software and the development of educational approaches, diverse and attractive ways of Interactivity have emerged.
These new ways aim to provide interaction, make the learner more active, and give him a more significant role in teaching and learning.
Below are some of these ways to have Interactivity:
1- As the most straightforward and basic way, you can include questions that make the reader think and compare his answer with the hidden one in the text. Currently, various questions are created based on the type of interaction the respondent can show, such as choice, order, match, slider, extended text, in-line selection, etc. In a digital atmosphere, the learner can show these reactions in response to the question raised in the text and immediately receive the appropriate feedback from the software. Hence, he can establish a good interaction with the text.
2- Another approach to Interactivity is social networking with other students or teachers while reading the text. In this approach, the students can communicate online or virtually, share their answers, guide and help each other, and discuss their questions.
3- Educational videos can also be made interactive by placing questions in them and at appropriate times. Then, watching the rest of the video requires answering those questions. Once the answers are correct, the video continues working interactively.
4- All kinds of laboratory tests can be simulated with the help of software and Interactivity. Hence, the opportunity for interaction for learners to experience the same conditions of actual tests in virtual form can be provided.
5- Interactive files, especially in experimental sciences and mathematics subjects, allow students to discover or better understand concepts. In this case, by changing the parameters in the prepared file, the learner can check its effect on other factors and acquire and discover new facts. In most cases, such an experience was not possible with paper and pen or on a blackboard in the classroom, and this is the added value that creates a digital space and a proper atmosphere for deeper learning.
6- Creating conditions for self-evaluation by answering several questions and receiving online feedback is also a possibility that gives a more active role to the learner.
Also, by saving the results of each evaluation in the software, the learner can view his progress chart and follow the path to improve the learning conditions.
Currently, there are more opportunities and conditions for interaction, and the items mentioned above were only a few.
With the development of artificial intelligence, much more attractive features can be provided. For example, Chat Bots have made it possible to ask and answer questions and interact online at any moment.
Also, personalizing and adapting the content to the interests and needs of the learner and suggesting ways to improve and bring him to mastery in a subject area other abilities of artificial intelligence in education. Therefore, taking advantage of these facilities and features to create a suitable interactive atmosphere is one of the essential advantages of modern digital books. This ability is what separates current books from other contents.
In this article, we discussed Interactivity and how it changed educational approaches. If you want this approach in your learning system, you need a platform to help you provide it. Unfortunately, not all platforms can support Interactivity, and not all books can include such an ability. Using the ePUB books is the key to implementing Interactivity and benefiting from all mentioned advantages.
So if you are interested in writing and publishing ePUB books, the PUBNiTO team has extensive experience providing epub3 books in a user-friendly authoring studio and delivering these books to an attractive online bookstore called KNiTO.