High-Touch Interactivity around Digital Learning Contents and Virtual Experiences: An Initial Exploration Built on Real-World Cases

High-Touch Interactivity around Digital Learning Contents and Virtual Experiences: An Initial Exploration Built on Real-World Cases

Shalin Hai-Jew (Kansas State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2012 |Pages: 21
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0963-1.ch008


In high-demand learning, such as in higher education, high-touch interactivity between the subject matter experts and learners is critical as is the mutual creative frictions between the learners themselves. Technological affordances have enabled digital learning contents and immersive spaces to promote high-touch interactivity, intensive long-term conversations, interactions, co-designs, collaborations, and innovations between people. A majority of the digital contents and immersive experiences have been designed for particular purposes; some others are more free-form. In addition, these digital contents may be human-mediated or automated. This chapter examines real-world cases in the uses of digital contents and mediated virtual experiential contents for high-touch interactions.
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Review Of The Literature

A foundational understanding of interactivity may be drawn from the human perception research in psychology, which conceptualizes interactivity of a human being with his or her environment as a natural part of survival. Interactivity refers to the way people engage the environment to fulfill their needs; interactivity involves gathering information about how the world works. This concept may be applied with multimedia in the sense that the person interacts with the information of the digital environment to learn about the nature of that environment, at one level.

The educational literature offers a range of interpretations of the term “interactivity.” One interpretation of media interactivity refers to a media’s “potential ability to let the user exert an influence on the content and/or form of the mediated communication” (Jensen, 1999; as cited in Jensen, 2008, p. 129). Jensen describes a typology of interactivity based on four sub-concepts: “transmissional interactivity” (the user’s ability to choose from a variety of one-way media); “conversational interactivity” (the media’s potential for user-production in a two-way media system, which allows sharing); “consultational interactivity” (a media’s potential ability to allow a user to choose “from an existing selection of pre-produced information in a two-way media system with a return-channel”), and “registrational interactivity” (a media’s ability to register information from and “also adapt and/or respond to a given user’s needs and actions, whether they be the user’s explicit choice of communication method or the system’s built-in ability to automatically ‘sense’ and adapt” (Jensen, 2008, p. 129).

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