No one wants to take time and trouble, using their expertise, to produce something that’s not as effective as it should be. This is just as true of online learning designers and developers as it is of anyone.


Since adding interactivity to any learning material helps to engage and interest the learners, as well as allow them to retain, reinforce and practise their learning, it makes sense to  include interactions in that learning material. Interactions can also be used to reward learners. Moreover, when it comes to online learning – especially because the tutor/ designer of the learning material is remote from the learners – interactions can be used to assess learners’ understanding.


There are those who’re only too happy to give you chapter and verse on using ‘interactivity’ in learning materials. They’ll probably use Wagner’s1994 definition of interactivity: an event that takes place between a learner and the learner’s environment. Its purpose is to respond to the learner in a way intended to change her/his behaviour towards achieving an educational goal.


These are wise words that every designer and developer of online learning materials needs to know and apply but the key is how to do this to maximum effect with the minimum of fuss.


Articulate and Adobe produce suites of authoring tools but other popular authoring tools include Lectora, Claro and Elicitus. While these tools will build online learning materials, designers and developers who’re serious about offering learners the benefits of interactivity in their online learning materials tend to look for an interactivity builder for their toolkit.


Of course, the interactivity builder software must be compatible with the designer’s authoring tool of choice – and one such well-established, tried and tested interactivity builder is Raptivity, from Harbinger. Using Raptivity enables developers to enrich their learning materials by providing higher degrees of interactivity for learners than are possible by merely using an authoring tool alone.


Not only does Raptivity offer a growing list of over 180 customisable interaction templates, it also caters for the latest developments in the online learning technologies industry, including HTML5 and Tin Can. Each interaction uses a wizard – which doesn’t vary a great deal between types of interaction, so the developer’s own learning journey to competence should be a relatively short one.


While there’s no guarantee that having the best tools will produce the best finished product (because it’s how those tools are applied that will determine the result), no one would, willingly, want to attempt a professional job with inadequate tools. So online learning designers and course developers who want to do the best professional job they should consider adding interactivity builder software along with the authoring tools in their toolkit. In that case, Raptivity is one of the best-established and most widely used interactivity builder products on the market. As such, it has to be worth investigating by anyone who’s serious about doing a good job when it comes to producing effective online learning materials.