Interactive lessons are classes or educational sessions hosted via the internet to teach specific subject matter while allowing different levels of student participation. Using technology and varied methods of distribution, educators and trainers can effectively teach a wide range of subject matter, reach a larger audience and allow those who may not have the ability to attend a formal classroom setting to experience this in a personal computing environment. Individuals seeking an accurate understanding of a specific subject can access interactive lessons through a number of websites using several multimedia applications and players.
The first type of interactive lessons may consist of a simple slide show controlled by several software scripts and an active database, which contains questions and answers delivered to the student through a specific interface. The interactive lesson may contain several pages of review material that the student is required to read before progressing to the next level of the lesson. The end of each review may contain an exercise with a number of multiple choice questions, which will require the student to enter specific information into text fields or use the computer's mouse to activate buttons within the interface. Answers are then compared to those within the database and used to compute a score for the student. Some organizations combine multimedia elements making an interactive lesson more engaging and interesting for the student.
Some interactive lessons may include pre-recorded video featuring an instructor who delivers the content through a series of visual demonstrations, audible samples and step-by-step instruction. The same basic elements are featured but broadened by using a human instructor to give personality to the process. A higher level of scripting and database technology can enhance a lesson of this type to interact with the student in a completely different way. Instead of simple data entry or the click of a mouse, the student can choose answers, which prompt the instructor’s response depending on the information given.
Streaming, an internet broadcasting method, allows a student to engage with a classroom session using a specific media player and experience interactive lessons in real time. The video and audio signal can be captured from any location equipped with internet connectivity and a host computer workstation. Students can interact using instant messaging technology which most often incorporates text, audio and sometimes video broadcasting elements. Interactive lessons can help educators connect with students in real time eliminating many limitations of the physical classroom.