Learner-Centric Model: Redefining Education Technology and Interactive Content Creation

Akhil Pawa June 21, 2016
Advancement in technology has not only enhanced and simplified our communication, but has made engagement and interaction with learners more productive and fun. A shift to technology-based education has been deemed beneficial by researchers and educators in imparting knowledge and ensuring better comprehension of the lessons. Technological evolution calls for innovative and redefined content that educators can make use of in their classrooms. SAMR, the Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition model, is a framework designed to evaluate and assess the technology educators deploy in their classrooms.   SAMR Model Explained:
  • Substitution —When old technology is substituted by new technology to perform the same task, it is known as the substitution level. At this level, the tools change but the performed task remains the same. Google Docs could be understood as an example of ‘substitution’ for Microsoft Word. The task – writing, in this case – remains the same while the tools differ.
  • Augmentation –The subtle transformation at this level comprises of certain added functionalities of the new technological tool to still perform the same task.
  • Modification –Representing a more effective and efficient use of technology, this level redesigns the tasks, creating modified tasks from the old one. This not only transforms students learning, but increases interactivity among them.
  • Redefinition –As the most advanced stage, technology here enables the educators to design new tasks and the students to excel at interacting with their peers. This exponentially  expands the scope of learning.
  From Substitution to Redefinition of Content: Evolution in EdTech content is evident from the progress from using technology to perform the same manual tasks using different tools (substitution) to utilizing the technology for creating new tasks that would otherwise not have been possible (redefinition). Given the success of actively using technology in the classroom and the benefits of evolved and interactive content, schools are increasingly expected to ensure that teachers and students use devices, software, apps, and other digital tools in a more synthesized, active way.   Designing Interactive Content That Focuses on Activity and Learning outcomes: Such a positive response to interactive educational technology poses a serious challenge to the publishers and content creators to redesign content that supports the technology used in the classroom. The expectation is to make a difference in learning outcomes. Resultantly, learning content should be designed in a way that supports engagement through activities and simulations, allows collaboration through social connections, and conclusively, provides ways within the content to demonstrate what the students have learned. In other words, the content should be designed to ensure that students are creating projects, connecting with others and exploring the educational world through advanced technology, rather than meaninglessly gawking at media-rich internet resources. This calls for a carefully crafted content development lifecycle, and requires experts to design and develop relevant and appropriate content to achieve the desired learning outcome. Designing a Learner-Centric Model Education technology leaders should focus on incorporating a learner-centric model of education. Following are the steps that could lead to a learner-centric model:
  • Need Analysis and User Research: To uncover the unmet user needs, an analysis of the requirements of the user/learner shall be undertaken. Such user research to evaluate the absent, yet essential, factors would help develop better content.
  • Learning and Experience Design: The LXD creates and enhances experiences, helping learners to fulfil their desired learning outcomes in a goal-directed, user-centric manner. The focus is entirely on the learner and their learning, providing designers an idea about a truly enriching learning experience.
  • Content and Storyboarding: To create more engaging content, the designers/content creators formulate a list of contents that are to be a part of their new technology. This constitutes the initial stage of a visual narrative.
  • Media Asset Development: To make the content more interactive, developers delve into the addition of textual or graphic media, or videos. This enhances the effectiveness and usability of the learner-centric, user-based educational technology.
  • Production: User-driven content production, undoubtedly, takes into consideration the learners in an education system. Such a focus is crucial to creating goal-oriented content.
  • Content Testing: The final step towards building a user-based EdTech model is to test the created content to check its suitability for the intended audience. The comprehension and usability of the content can be judged here.
  It is significant to remember that technology is a mere enabler, and the use of a learner-centric model calls for intricately designed interactive learning content that redefines learners’ experience, rather than substituting chalk and board learning. With technology comes great interaction and greater innovation. This innovation makes the learner-centric model an enabler and facilitator in redefining content creation for learners, young and adult, keeping intact the significance of educators and researchers.

Akhil Pawa

Management expert and the service line owner for solutions and delivery of all Digital Interactive Content offerings in Magic. He has been associated with Magic for more than 8 years and has handled several digital transformation projects in Education domain.