Friday, 11 March 2016

Design and Development of Interactive e-Content for surgical education

What are multimedia, learning objects and interactive e-content?

There’s more to education than simply the transference of knowledge. It has to be the learning of the student that is of prime importance.(Alonso, Lopez, Manrique, & Vines, 2008). The difficulties in attempting to define e-learning terminology has been with the rapid evolution and advancement in technology that made it difficult to have a single all-encompassing definition. (“Definition of Interactive media”, 2014)
Wikipedia refers to multimedia as content that can be recorded and played, displayed or excess by information content processing devices such as computers. It can be a combination of text and audio, images video and interactivity activity with animation. Linear multimedia is considered as a form which moves in a linear fashion and without any interactivity by the viewer as compared to nonlinear multimedia where interactivity of the viewer is incorporated into the media.(“Multimedia,” 2014).
In transferring information from the producers to the consumer, the medium through which this can be achieved can be through text, images, voice files, animation and videos. These information that is distributed by these media are called multimedia if more than one medium is utilised.
Learning objects refers to small size reusable instructional component design for distribution over electronic media inclusive of the Internet for use in different learning management system for access by multiple users.(Alonso et al., 2008). The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) defines a learning object as "any entity, digital or non-digital, that may be used for learning, education or training".(RISK, 2002). They include the following key features:
·         Novel concept on creating learning content. Traditionally, content is delivered in a several hour chunk. Learning objects are smaller units of learning, typically ranging from 2 minutes to 15 minutes.
·        Are self-contained and can be consumed independently
·        Are reusable – a single learning object may be used in multiple contexts for multiple purposes
·        Can be aggregated – they can be grouped into larger collections of content, including traditional course structures
·        Are tagged with metadata – they have descriptive information allowing it to be easily found by a search . (“Learning object,” 2014)
So learning objects are therefore small units of learning materials produced from multiple medium of information that is utilised to bring about a learning experience for the consumer.
So interactive e content  can been also classified as a hybrid media technology as it combines any format of content – text, animations, video audio and allows users to interact with the content.
User feedback is the interactive process that produces the interactive experiences by clicking buttons. Video games is a classic example of interactive design.
Interactive e content, by nature of the digitised content allows for extraordinary storage and delivery capabilities of electronic content. This affords a distribution channels like the network of the web allowing for universal access. . (“Definition of Interactive media”, 2014)
So interactive e content is digitalised material that can be either in the form of text, audio, video animation or graphic images that is displayed on a computer device that allows for user interaction by the use of the mouse, the screen, gestures and or voice commands. With the interaction appropriate responses from the system allows for feedback, reinforcement and progression.

text and audio, images video and interactivity activity with animation
Can be delivered electronically, building blocks for learning objects or as standalone content
Requires resources (hard and soft) to produce
Learning Objects
small size reusable instructional component (may incorporate multimedia), incorporates metadata for search
Standalone content or used with others to produce larger learning content, reusable, building blocks for interactive e content
Requires sound instructional design principles  and use of specialised authoring tools to create
Interactive e-content
Any form of content that can be digitised
Produce engaging learning materials that get engagement of learner through interface
Need strategic perspective to overall learning outcome, requires devices that can display content universally
Alonso, F., Lopez, G., Manrique, D., & Vines, J. M. (2008). Learning objects, learning objectives and learning design. Innovations in Education & Teaching International, 45(4), 389–400. doi:10.1080/14703290802377265
Advanced Interactive Media/A Definition For Interactive Media. (12 Mar. 2014) - Wikibooks, Open Books for an Open World. . Retrieved from

Learning object. (2014, February 16). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from
Multimedia. (2014, March 3). In Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Retrieved from
RISK, U. (2002). Draft Standard for Learning Object Metadata. Retrieved from

Medical Interactive free resources

1.      Human Body and Mind - Interactive Body (BBC)
An amazing interactive exploration of the human body and its functions.

2.      Medical Videos
Is an online library dedicated for videos and movies related to Medicine and Surgery to provide one easy place to find whatever a doctor, medical student, nurse or any individuals involved in medicine to find whatever he/she looks for. With a simple broadband connection you can enjoy the high quality medical videos either to learn new techniques or to be updated with the latest advances in medicine.

Free medical animations as provided by the University of Pennsylvania Health System. This content is "bandwidth intensive." The latest versions of the following browser plug-ins must be installed: Shockwave and Quicktime.

4.       Molecular Movies
This web resource presents an organized directory of cell and molecular animations, as well as a collection of original tutorials for life science professionals learning 3D visualization. The goal is to provide an efficient way for scientists and educators to browse and access existing animations for teaching and communication purpose

5.      Hand Surgery Videos
This channel is devoted to the education of doctors in hand surgery, surgical education and management. Produced by Dr Vaikunthan Rajaratnam (author)

These free e-content (Open Educational Resources OER), allow for universal access to content and also allows for users to curate them – i.e. to reuse them with added information and context. The advantageous of these are that they are reusable, and have long shelf life even though can be challenging to create. They allow for user interactivity and also engagement and curation for improved usage. It allows for teachers to be creators, users, aggregators and curators of these educational materials.

 Diagram that shows the connection to show the content flow between all types of resources


Benefits of Interactive E-Content to teachers and students

This allows for teachers to produce learning materials that can be reused and also allow for interaction of the students and therefore ensuring engagement which has been shown to improve the quality of learning in students. Being digital it will allow for universal distribution using various platforms and devices.

In summary, interactive e content allows
  • ·       for 24/7 learning
  • ·       improve engagement and
  • ·       increased knowledge retention
  • ·       tracking of student activity, learning and engagement
  • ·       through analytics allow for learning need analysis
  • ·       allow for on demand and self-paced learning for students
  • ·       reduce need for synchronous teacher resources
  • ·       ease of update and editing of learning objects

 Advantages of Interactive E-Content

These learning materials allow for engagement and therefore help in student participation and retention of learning. It allows for flexibility in that the learner can access the learning material as and when he wants it. It allows for self-pacing and therefore allowing learners to work at their own level and speed reducing the stress of learning and increasing their satisfaction. The interactivity engages them pushing them to learn more and deeper and enhancing retention of the learning. The whole process allows for confidence building as the learning material is ubiquitous allowing for universal access in time and place.

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