Watching an instructional video (even if it is a short one) is quite passive. This might not lead to the best possible learning result for a student. But there’s is solution for more actively engaging students with a video. This can be done with what we call interactive video. At the University of Twente we have recently done some research into possibilities of interactive video. We have investigated several software tools, based on several criteria. As an important criterion, we had defined user friendliness (that is: easy to use for a lecturer). Another important requirement was that the interactive video would be usable on all modern devices, i.e. mobile phones en tablets (responsive design).
The number 1 from our analysis was a startup company from Assen (in the Netherlands), called HiHaHo. We are now working with them to get some pilot projects started with our lecturers. [update: We have concluded this pilot project in November 2018]
Is this really all that new?
Well, not really if you look at it from a didactical viewpoint. For those who have been working long enough in the field of digital learning or e-learning you might remember the (interactive) “laser disc” or “beeldplaat” in Dutch. Actually HiHaho works much the same way with interactions that can be built around a video, such as branching, asking a question etc. The major differences are:
- everything is done on a pre-existing internet video (from YouTube or Vimeo)
- it is very easy to create an interactive element on a such a video
- the end-result is reachable through the internet, and is usable on every modern device (HiHaHo is built around HTML5)
But don’t get me wrong, those differences should not be under-estimated. With HiHaHo creating interactive video is now possible for a lot more people than before.