A picture is worth one thousand words, especially to a student learning a new concept. Visualization is an important cognitive connector. Knowing this to be true, we look to add “content rich” images to our online instruction. Images in an online course can increase understanding for our mainstream students, as well as better support our English language learners, our visual processing students, and create better foundations for our students with less subject scheme (background information). According to a Social Science Research Network, Reaching the Visual Learner, 65% of people are visual learners. This means most people have the need to see what they are learning for complete cognitive processing.
Now that we agree on the importance of using images in our online course, let’s talk about how to get the most learning out of those images. Inserting an image near corresponding text is our first step, but what if students could do more than just view that image? In this post, I’ll introduce you to nine free online tools for students to interact with any image you choose. These tools provide student engagement, practice of knowledge application, and checking for understanding... All within your online course.
All of these tools are created by H5P, an MIT project and licence. Learn more about their multimedia tools here. H5P accounts are complete free to create and build.
If you are new to building and using online interactive tools in your online course, my advice is just look for one tool that you think would help your students better comprehend their learning or help them check their own understanding. Just start with one and go from there.
1. Drag & Drop
This tool is as simple as it sounds. Learners can drag and drop word labels to identify parts of an image. This tool can also be used for learners to drag and drop smaller images onto a larger, main image. Enable your students to associate words to images in order to check their understanding.
2. Hot Spots
In this tool, instructors can identify specific spots on an image and add text. Then the instructor can state a specific task, such as find the mitochondria in the cell diagram. Students select the spot on the image and check their understanding with text revealed for immediate feedback.
3. Question & Answer
Instructors provide an image and a question. Then students answer based on the image. Instructors can also insert text for specific and immediate feedback.
Are your students learning the order of a process? This tool provides an opportunity to order images based on the sequence the instructor creates. The leaner is timed and the number of moves the student uses to complete the sequence are both recorded within the tool.
Create an easy to use image display presentation with responsive image sliders and a full-screen option. This presentation pre-loads the next image for snappy image switching. Instructors can also insert alternative (alt.) text for screen-readers and accessibility.
Use this interactive tool to show change through layering images. For example, show the growth of a city through a layered map. Instructors can even add a short explanation for each layer or image. Students can move back and forth through each layer.
Don't let the elementary icon fool you. Remember you select the images to use from your own content images. Learners check their understanding by pairing images. Once all images have been paired, learners can check their answers and receive immediate feedback.
Learners use an interactive slider to view and compare two images. Sliders can be used both vertically and horizontally. Instructors can set the starting slider position and label images for more meaning.
Do you have multiple images to show students? Instructors can use this tool to customize a layout with 11 different settings. For example, some of the options include: pan and zoom, spacing, outer frame size, and height of collage. Create an organized image layout for students to view without scrolling forever.
Images can be incredibly powerful. These free interactive tools assist in getting the most learning out of your content images. You can create the opportunity for your students to apply, discover, and check their understanding using images, without a direct grade penalty. Also, each tool can be completely embedded into your online course to keep your students in their learning environment. Ultimately, you are creating an engaging and interactive learning experience. Want assistance in building your engaging online learning environment? I can help you with that! Check out my customizable instructional design services to see what package would help you meet your goals.
Don’t forget to download the free one-page (2-sided) guide created to accompany this post. If you’ve already registered, then you can sign-in to access and download the guide. If you are new to this site, welcome! You’ll need to create a simple, free account to access and download this guide plus many more.
H5P: 9 Image Interactive Free Tools
*All tools and examples were created by H5P.
The evolution of distance learning can be described as slow and then fast. Let me explain. Mass distance learning was originally created by the US military during WWII as a way to train large numbers of new soldiers in short amount of time to perform specific tasks using specific procedures. Booklets of text with some images were produced along with educational videos, and thus creating distance learning curriculum. For decades following, distance learning was far and few between and resembled the same style of curriculum. Fast forward to the 2000’s where personal computers and internet access became household items. Distance learning still resembled previous curriculum, where information was “dumped” and students were tested on said dumped information.
The Guide to Interactives Series was created with the purpose to show instructors just how to created a more interactive and engaging distance learning experience. Where students have multiple chances for checking their understanding with no penalty, where immediate feedback can be given, and where students feel the connection between the online course and the 21st century world they live in daily. For best comprehension, and ease of use, this entire series uses one set of tools from collection called H5P. H5P tools are completely free and open technology licensed with the MIT license. Instructors can create a free account, build interactives with their course content, and then embed those interactives into their learning management system (LMS) course using the given embed code.
In part 1 of this 4 part series, 5 multimedia tools are noted and explained. Multimedia tools provide an alternate way for content to be represented to students other than text and images. These particular H5P tools can help your audio and kinesthetic students learn and interact with new content.
1. Interactive Video
What instructor does love a quality educational video to help explain a complex concept? The problem is did the student really understand everything that was presented in the video. Did the student pause and rewind the video when something was confusing? Could the student recall important details from the video? Could the student apply what they’ve just learned from the video? This tool can help you answer “yes” to all of these questions.
The interactive video tool uses pre-created videos from YouTube or your own and inserts interactions within the video. Instructors can insert multiple different types of questions throughout the video. As students watch this interactive video, the video pauses and a question appears for students to select an answer. The correct answer continues the video. An incorrect answer can replay a certain part of the video, or provide text feedback for clarification. The video can even be set to only continue when the student answers correctly.
List of question types that can be added to any video:
2. Speak the Words
The majority of our online students express their understanding of concepts in the from of text: quizzes, discussions, essays, reflections, etc. However, we know preparing our students for future careers includes more than writing skills. This next tool brings a new interactive to the online learning environment. Speak the Words tool uses voice recognition to answer questions. Instructors create a set of questions and students speak the answer. The tool recognizes a correct or incorrect answer and provides immediate feedback. Based on the setting options selected by the instructor, student can see the solution, and try it again. Remember, the purpose of these tools are for student engagement with content, practice of skills, and checking for understanding.
Note: Currently, due to the voice recognition tool, this interactive only functions in the Chrome browser.
3. Twitter User Feed
Academically intriguing conversations are happening all the time. Luckily for us, most of these conversations are happening digitally in real time. How exciting... and relevant... and engaging! The Twitter User Feed tool allows instructors to embed a live twitter feed into their online course. The many options that accompany this tools provide instructors with ultimate control to ensure the twitter feeds coming into their class are on topic, current, and non-disruptive. Instructors are able to select which user feeds are displayed, many tweets are shown at once, and if replies should be hidden.
My teacher heart goes pitter-patter just thinking about the powerful and relevant dialog this content tool can provide in your online course.
4. Audio Recorder
Voices are powerful. They can convey emotions and personality that contribute in creating a well-rounded message. Something that can be lost in writing at times. Your auditory learners may have been looking for a way to express their level of understanding in a way that works best for them. Lucky for them, they have you as an instructor and they have this tool to let them shine. The Audio Recorder tool allows students to record their voice to provide a response. Students can even listen to their recording immediately, then re-record it if needed. Lastly, students can download this audio (.wav) file and save and submit it. This a great tool for open-ended questions or language acquisition.
Note: At this time, this tool works in Edge, Chrome, and Firefox internet browsers.
5. Dialog Cards
The last multimedia tool continues this auditory learning trend. This tool is very similar to digital flashcards, which is a regular study aid of students. However, these digital flashcards can include more than text. These digital flashcards can include images, and audio recordings. Just as regular flashcards, side one has the learning material and side to the answer.
This tool is a great option for students to have all three learning styles (visual, auditory, and kinesthetic) in one study aid. Students learning terms in any subject benefit for this low-risk practice with immediate feedback.
When developing or preparing your next online course consider trying out one of these tools to promote student engagement, low-risk practice, and instant feedback for your students. If building these tools and embedding them into your own online course seems like a cumbersome task, I’m here to tell you that’s what instructional designers are for! If you don’t have an instructional designer at your school, no need to fear. I provided individually customized instructional designer services that can fit the comfortability level of any instructor.
Get the free 1-page guide: 5 Multimedia Tools (H5P Guide)
Nicole Mace believes that distance education is a true game changer. She has spent close to a decade in education and spends her free time reading anything she can get her hands on about online learning.
Nicole's Guest Posts