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Importance of interactivity in learning

General Tech Learning Aids/Tools

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User

( 4 months ago )

 

Not sure if this is the right place for this question that I find hard to formulate in the first place...

In a paper, I'd like to argue that interactivity helps to develop an understanding of a thing. This is in context is astronomy, scientists learning about the universe basically. I'd like to argue in favour of interactive data exploration. This is not going to be a psychology paper. To put it bluntly, I'd like to better understand this to write the motivational section, use the proper terms, and have a nice citation I can put at the end of it :)

Let me try to explain what I'm after.

Google Maps analogy:

Interative maps give an overview of the world and then allow the user to zoom in, pan around and look at streetview pics. If this information would be presented in a non-interative way, say a box you can put coordinates in and you get the streetview picture out a minute later, the user would not just be slower, but would not be able to explore and understand the world in the same way that interactive maps allow.

Slider analogy:

Say you have two parameters and an result value that results from it due to some hidden math. If I give you two sliders, you can play around with them and develop a sense for the correlation easily, a child would get an intuition for it. But if I give you a form where you have to type in two numbers and press a button to see the result, it be almost impossible to develop the same level of understanding.

I think that the instantaneous feedback and the ability to 'play' with it, really make it far easier for us to learn.

edit:

Has there been some study of this kind of learning? Does it have a name? Where would I start to research this? How do I go about arguing that interactivity offers a great benefit to explore, say, a dataset? That interactivity offers more than just the efficency gained from less waiting for results.

what's your interest


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