We come now to the truly fun and exciting point at which everything comes together as a creative blend of instructional design, subject matter, management vision and objectives, multimedia treatments, and technology. It comes together for the purpose of enabling specified behavioral changes to happen—the changes needed for performance success.
In this chapter, I have attempted to get at the heart of instructional interactivity. I've tried to separate the wheat from the chaff, as they say:
- To explore the differences between mechanical interactivity and instructional interactivity
- To provide a framework for thinking about instructional interactivity
- To help designers create the kind of interactivity that works to engage learners, builds needed competencies, and provides value in e-learning that fully justifies the investment.
Throughout this book, I've minimized theoretical discourse in favor of plain talk and practical prescriptions. It is especially appropriate to continue this approach here, as it seems to me that theory-based approaches, as much as I respect them and find them valuable, have not resonated effectively with many designers. My attempt here is to clearly identify the essential components of instructional interactivity, flag some frequent misconceptions, and provide a number of successful models—all in a way that you will find meaningful and useful, whatever your goals for e-learning may be.