Adding Interactivity to Your Online Content

September 21, 2017

By Jennifer Albat and Wayne Nelson (Instructional Design and Learning Technologies)

Interactivity is an important aspect of the learning process for online students. There are many ways to assure effective learning interactions, including online discussions, intermittent checks for understanding (e.g., quizzes or polls), and strategies for making video or audio “lectures” interactive. Any effective interaction strategy helps learners encode information from working memory in order to store it in long-term memory. Without such strategies, information will not be readily retained nor recalled by students.

In the Midweek Mentor video “How Can I Add Interactivity to My Online Content?” (see this link for on-demand viewing), Dr. John Orlando recommended that videos be broken into smaller chunks with options for interactivity added to promote information retention. Dr. Orlando mentioned several systems such as Google Forms, EDPuzzle, VideoAnt, Dotstorming, and thinglink to add interactivity.

An additional option for enhancing the interactivity of video or PowerPoint presentations is Office Mix (, a free component of the Office 365 software available to all faculty and students. By installing this add-in, a new Mix tab is inserted into the PowerPoint program which allows slide recording with annotation, screen recording, or quiz and video apps right inside the presentation file. The presentations are uploaded to the Office Mix site and can be linked or embedded into Blackboard pages. Best of all, they provide analytics on time students spend on each slide. Please note that although Mixes can be viewed on any device, they can only be created in a Windows environment. If you are interested in learning more about Office Mix and other strategies for interactivity in your online courses, contact the Instructional Design and Learning Technologies group (

Have questions? Need assistance? Contact an ITS instructional designer at 618-650-5500.

Categories: All Categories, Students, Classroom