What Interactions are best for what type of learning?

Can someone suggest a good resource that suggests the best type of learning interactions for certain types of learning? For example, in a language learning course, I've seen interactions where people play the "matching game" e.g. match Hello with Bonjour and Goodbye with Au Revoir. Language learning is just an example but I'm curious if there are certain types of learning and skills that have been proven to work better with certain types of learning interactions. Maybe there is a good book or e-learning website or even an online class you can recommend.

3 Replies
Allison LaMotte

That's a great question, Joe! I'm not aware of any articles that answer this question specifically, but it's one that I've often thought about myself.

I think it's important to keep in mind what your learners are going to need to do with the information/skills you're teaching them, and create interactions that allow them to practice doing that.

For example, if learners need to recall information (without any prompts), then a good way to allow them to practice that is by asking them a fill in the blank question

If learners need to recognize information, a multiple choice or multiple response question could work.

And if learners need to be able to distinguish one concept from another, a drag and drop question could be a good way to give them a chance to practice that skill.

I hope that helps! I'm looking forward to hearing what other community members have to say on this topic.

Ray Cole

The answer to your question is often "it depends." But Allison's point to "keep in mind what your learners need to do with the information/skills you're teaching them, and create interactions that allow them to practice doing that" is key.

A good place to start might be by reading Ruth Colvin Clark's book, Evidence-Based Training Methods. She gathers together and interprets a lot of research about how people learn, including through interactions, exercises, simulations, games, etc., so reading this book will give you a solid, broad-based foundation to build upon. Her earlier book, E-Learning and the Science of Instruction is also good.



Rachel Schell

Hi Joe,

As an instructional designer, I agree with the 2 previous posts.  However, I want to go even further by asking you, what would benefit the learner the most?

When you begin asking this question you soon realize that each learner is going to need something different.  My experience is in personalized learning where I work with course developers to provide a deeper learning experiences for all students.  My suggestion is to start with one type of question and then develop additional options so that students have a choice in how they demonstrate what they have learned.  Using your example of a language learning course,  I would provide something like this: 

Instructions: Choose the type of question below to show your mastery of French greetings. 

Option 1 (button): Matching 

Option 2 (button): Short Answer 

Option 3 (button): Record your Answer 

And then from there setup the questions and feedback.  

So, that was a crash course in personalized learning. If you would like to speak more on the subject contact me at rachel.schell81@gmail.com.