Engaging learners through intuitive interfaces

John Hedberg, Susan Metros

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    This chapter acquaints the reader with key concepts associated with learner engagement by examining the user interface from cognitive, semiotic, psychological, artistic and pedagogical perspectives. Technology affords educators with a new way to present course content that is no longer text only, paper constrained, linearly organized and visually flat. Engaged learning can borrow from the interactive and community-based activities prevalent on the Internet. The use of gaming, role-playing, blogging, instant messaging and chat coupled with multimedia modalities that address multiple learning styles has the capacity or stimulate today's technology savvy learners. By employing these familiar methodologies to learning, educators can better meet the needs of a new student demographic that has grown up with computers, is predominantly visually oriented, watches rather than listens to music on MTV, uses Google as a key reference tool, shops online and accesses news through 24/7 online streaming feeds. These students expect to take part in experiential and authentic learning in unconventional and engaging ways. However, new ways of learning require new teaching methodologies. The traditional forms of teaching do not transition well to the engaging online environment. The authors, using a three-phase model as a foundation for creating engaging user interfaces, will explore the cognitive and visual elements of effective interface design that engage learners through intuitive and direct interaction. By deconstructing a series of educational interfaces that are functional, usable, communicative, and aesthetically appropriate, readers will learn to identify the visual and cognitive demands of a knowledge domain that creates engaging, interactive results.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEngaged learning with emerging technologies
    EditorsDavid Hung, Myint Swe Khine
    Place of PublicationDordrecht
    PublisherSpringer, Springer Nature
    Number of pages19
    ISBN (Electronic)1402036698, 9781402036699
    ISBN (Print)140203668X, 9781402036682
    Publication statusPublished - 2006


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