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MIR MOHIUDDIN MOHAMMED STUDENT ID : 4179069

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

COURSE: MA EDUCATIONAL LEADERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT

MODULE: XX4932 LEADING PRACTICE-BASED ENQUIRY

MARKING TUTOR: ANDREW TOWNSEND WORD COUNT : 5,064

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................. 2 Literature Review .......................................................................................................... 3 Educational Leadership............................................................................................... 3 Social Capital ............................................................................................................. 3 Interactive Learning ................................................................................................... 4 Interactive Teaching .................................................................................................. 5 Benefits & Advantages ............................................................................................... 5 Challenges & Issues ................................................................................................... 6 Uses ......................................................................................................................... 6 Strategies to maximise learning potential through interactive learning ............................... 7 1. 2. 3. Fostering an environment to respond and react: .................................................... 7 Extending support to move beyond existing learning horizons: ................................ 8 Place onus on self-learning: ................................................................................. 8

Arriving at the best-fit interactive learning model ............................................................. 8 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. Primary Data: ..................................................................................................... 8 Secondary Data: ................................................................................................. 8 Data Collection Method:....................................................................................... 9 Selection of respondents:..................................................................................... 9 Tools & techniques: ............................................................................................. 9 Kind of Research: ................................................................................................ 9 Survey Approach: ................................................................................................ 9 Survey Questionnaire: ......................................................................................... 9 Analysis:............................................................................................................10

Present situation of interactive learning in leading nations ...............................................10 Challenges of adopting interactive learning methods .......................................................11 Recommendations........................................................................................................12 Conclusion...................................................................................................................13 Refrences ....................................................................................................................14

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Introduction
With the advancements in technology, innovations have occurred in almost every field of life which have enhanced the quality of life greatly. The teaching and learning processes have not been exceptions to this. As per scholars, Smith et al in 2005, technological advancements have led to the creation of the perfect balance between the technical perspectives and the pedagogic interactions which provide the ideal platform for interactive learning as well as interactive teaching built on the framework of tools of technology (Smith, et al., 2005). It has been suggested by a large number of experts that projection learning systems along with the power of the internet helps in creating the perfect realistic and relevant tool for the students, and such framework helps in acting as the perfect little window to the entire world (Bull & Bull, 2005). Interactive learning systems are created with the help of the Web 2.0 and the interactive boards, and their combination helps in creating the perfect interactive window to the world, facilitating the teachers to enhance the learning potential of students in the interactive environment. The concept of the learning environment is undergoing rapid changes, even as we speak. The personal computers, laptops are more powerful than ever before in performing against the complex programming algorithms. Hence, it is possible now to create interactive learning environments which are not only used to facilitate the learning of students at their school, graduate and post graduate levels , that is, in traditional settings but also to facilitate the distance learning programs, the lifelong learning process etc. Scholars are of the opinion, that, a large variety of resources must be provided for every student, and the student as per his or her own learning style can utilize these resources to enhance the learning potential (Allen & Terman, 2000). In the backdrop of technological advancements and improvements in the interactive learning environment it was only logical to conduct this paper on the same subject. The main aim of this paper is in exploring the facets of interactive learning environment and development of the strategies which can be utilized by teachers and students to maximize learning. It is also the objective of this paper to understand the challenges of interactive learning environment and develop recommendation strategies to enhance learning potential. For the purpose of this paper, apart from providing a comprehensive literature review, primary qualitative research is also determined to be held which will provide a first-hand understanding of the present nuances and the implications of interactive learning environments. In fact this paper would be divided in five specific chapters the first the introduction, the second a comprehensive literature review, the third the specifications of the research methodology, followed by the next chapter the analysis and discussion and finally the conclusion. This paper would be of significant help to trainee teachers and future educators, as they can gain

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT a brief overview of the implications of the interactive learning process and how improvements can be made to promote further learning.

Literature Review
Change is the only constant aspect of the present days world, and the field of education is not an exception to the rule. Changes are brought in the values of education, new technologies are implemented to facilitate learning, new curriculum is introduced etc. The use of technology in education has its roots from the time of using overhead projectors and television in classrooms. These systems of presentations helped the students in understanding concepts through the visual and audio-visual facilities respectively. The transformation aspect of technology has increasingly changes the process of the teaching as well as learning in creating todays environment of interactive learning. Scholars are of the opinion that, another critical aspect which caters to creation of an effective interactive learning environment is that teacher training programs must be in place in developing the right and relevant skills of the teachers who can utilize these interactive learning systems by promoting the interactive learning and teaching by the digital tools.

Educational Leadership
In terms of educational leadership in the current age of technological advancement and greater interactive learning, two questions stand out as most important ones the changing dynamics for faculty teaching and the challenges in the development and optimization of teachers willing to employ technology as a teaching tool (Papa, 2010). Conner & Clawson underline the fact that learning is the strategic competence to meet the economic, cultural and cognitive implications of our modern, globalized society (Conner & Clawson, 2004). The educational leadership in the current times, say Conner & Clawson is more communal than individual. Educational leadership is also thought leadership wherein it needs to drive a change in the perception-sphere and mind-sets. As a society we need to move further away from passive and discourse-full teaching methods to move active self-learning modules that are a direct result of greater interactivity.

Social Capital
From an era of being ruled by individual monarchs, our world and societies are more democratized today the rule of people where governance lies with everyone and no one is specifically the dictator. This is the growing trend as we delve further into the 21st century;

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT the same is true, pertinent and imperative for the learning sphere (Conner & Clawson, 2004). The social capital of future educational leadership is invested in decentralized systems and intuitive learning. Where technology facilitates the exchange of ideas and encourages bouncing of ideas to create better solutions (Conner & Clawson, 2004). Our social capital has also been enhanced by the growing thought leadership and growth of the knowledge economy. We no longer live in times of might expressed in terms of strength but today the strength in more mental than physical.

Interactive Learning
Interactive learning is the specific approach of pedagogy which specifically integrates technology with that of the traditional aspects of teaching. It integrates the power of internet through social networking as well as present complex computing along with traditional course design as course delivery. The interactive learning phenomenon has evolved from the roots of digital technology and the cyber based virtual communications. Traditionally, it was normal for the students to sit in a classroom and absorb the knowledge provided by the teacher. However, today, with the help of interactive learning students can actively partake in the process of learning. The learning environment helps in integrating the students and the interactive board and is focused on the stimulus provided by such board and the teacher and promotes interaction. A typical example of interactive learning and teaching is where students have to drag the words to define a specific picture on the board. This forms a specific mode of interactive learning as it helps the students in gaining knowledge through a mix of the concrete and the abstract. This mode of learning is also built on the principle of constructivism, which is a key aspect of interactive learning. Hereby, the students are focused and encourage channelizing their learning along with construction of meanings. The scholar, Tapscott has helped in identifying the specific seven modes through which the present interactive learning has evolved. These are as follows; - creation of hypermedia learning from that of linear learning; from the instruction to that of construction and lastly discovery; achievement of learner centric education from that being teacher centric; from the mere knowledge absorption to that of deriving meaning out of it; from the static schooling to that of a dynamic learning; from torturous learning to that of fun learning and lastly the role of teacher as a transmitter to that of the role of teacher as being a facilitator (Tapscott, 1998).

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

Interactive Teaching
The advent of technology and the explosion of options available for students to learn and engage have greatly transformed the role of teachers and the process of teaching in our times. Gone are the days where a teachers role was limited to reading passages from a book, analysing or summarizing various parts and underlining the important aspects of a topic. Teachers now play a more dynamic, engaging and facilitator role in learning wherein they have move from being a source of information and knowledge to that of a guide towards the right source of information and knowledge; and assisting with how to make best use of the plethora of resources available. Petrina outlines that the notion of technology teacher should include effective communication skills as well as preparation for the demonstrations expected of them, (Petrina, 2007). Interactive teaching implies that the student is no longer at the end of a long discourse but the teacher creates and harnesses an environment of engagement and interaction wherein the students learning by themselves and the teachers facilitate such learning. Such a complex and dynamic learning environment calls for a greater restraint and understanding on the teachers part with regard to where to step in and where to allow the students to explore and learn by themselves. The present generation is use to a world where simulations exist as a matter-of-fact; such simulations are a great teaching tool, wherein teachers employ an observational methodology. Students are allowed to learning by doing, whilst taking away the risks from a real world scenario, while teachers step back to allow the student to analyse, judge and make decisions on their own. The employment of visual aids further enhances interactive learning as it provides the visual cues to further the understanding of the audience. (Petrina, 2007) Interactive teaching also places a great onus on fostering an environment of creativity, wherein students are allowed the freedom to express and experiment. In our dynamic and ever changing world, organizations need creative perspectives and solutions to conceive new product, service, and process ideas, marketing strategies, and ways of allocating and using resources. Creativity is the magic word that can turn around an organization, company, division, or department. (VanGundy, 2005)

Benefits & Advantages


Clearly the foremost advantage of employing interactive teaching and learning methodologies is to shift the focus of attention from the teachers & students and place it firmly on the content & context of learning (Myhill, 2005). By allowing the freedom to learn from interaction and engagement, students are better placed to make judgements, think

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT critically, evaluate scenarios and arrive at logical decisions. Freedom to express ignites a spirit of enquiry and fosters an environment of creativity that goes a long way in moulding the entrepreneurial spirit. Creative expressions allow for the development of newer ideas, wider perspectives and appreciation of different opinions (Essa, 2009). From the perspective of teaching, from a mundane task of imparting a discourse, interactive learning makes for teaching to be a dynamic and engaging activity. Aside from being the source of information for students, interactive teaching transforms the role of teachers into facilitators and observers. Instead of being the sole point of contact, teachers can be the fulcrum that furthers the students learning curve. (Essa, 2009). The culmination of interactive teaching and learning methodologies result in a far more rounded scholar, with a greater sense of actual learning as opposed to mere information gathering.

Challenges & Issues


The greatest challenge facing the concept of interactive learning and teaching would be that of having a clear understanding of what constitutes it; because per se the concept of interactive learning isnt completely new, however, what is new is the advancement in the field with the advent of new technologies. Information technology boom has greatly expanded the scope and impact of interactive learning while blurring the lines between traditional and novel learning methods. Also, it is important to note that both educators and students must share a common understanding for the concept to be successful and widespread. The second challenge is maintaining the perfect balance between teaching control and learning control. In traditional impartation of knowledge, the teacher controlled much of the flow of information and thereby much control over the learning process. The interactive learning model however alters this scenario to a great degree wherein the student or learner has a far greater control on the content and course of learning. The idea would be to ensure that there is a perfect balance such that the interactive learning mechanism allows both for freedom to learn as well as restraint to adhere to the curriculum. It is not surprising, then, that despite the effective imposition of particular teaching strategies; teachers vary in their interpretation of interactive teaching (Moyles, 2003)

Uses
An interactive learning environment helps redefine the teaching landscape to suit the dynamic environment that we currently inhabit while aiding the expansion of individual learning. It can be employed to inculcate an enterprising spirit of learning, of enquiry and experimentation. Simulations, creative expression and learning-by-doing methodologies

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT have a far greater practical learning value thereby making students more adept at tackling real life situations. These techniques have multiple benefits: the instructor can easily and quickly assess if students have really mastered the material (and plan to dedicate more time to it, if necessary), and the process of measuring student understanding in many cases is also practice for the materialoften students do not actually learn the material until asked to make use of it in assessments such as these. Finally, the very nature of these assessments drives interactivity and brings several benefits. Students are revived from their passivity of merely listening to a lecture and instead become attentive and engaged, two prerequisites for effective learning. These techniques are often perceived as fun, yet they are frequently more effective than lectures at enabling student learning (Lee, n.d.)

Strategies to maximise learning potential through interactive learning


Adoption of interactive learning methods is just one part of ensuring that the learning potential is substantially increased by such methods. There are various ancillary and support initiatives that one must undertake to fully realize the potential of such methodologies. Burns and Myhill outlined in 2004, some of the important factors and themes that further interactive learning. These are dealt in brief in the paragraphs that succeed.

1. Fostering an environment to respond and react:


The foremost principle of interactive learning is to encourage a sense of creative thinking and logical expression (Smith, et al., 2005). It is important for students to feel accepted for their answers and there must be a conscious effort to elicit responses. This helps develop independent voices and opinions and gives them confidence to express without fear. In a classroom set up of traditional methodology the focus remains firm on the teacher while avenues of individual learning are at a minimum. Teachers are focussed on imparting knowledge at the broader classroom level while students are constrained by the need to develop a collective understanding. In an interactive learning environment, however, strives towards an asymmetric discourse wherein the children are positioned to listen to the teacher and offer contributions when invited. This is played out frequently through an interaction pattern that includes Initiation of a spoken sequence; Response from the child and furnishing of Feedback by the teacher (Myhill, 2005)

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Myhill, however, does add that all discourses do not conform to this pattern and some teachers break out of it to create a more learning-productive talk.

2. Extending support to move beyond existing learning horizons:


Aside from encouraging a latter pattern via response and reaction method, an interactive learning model also supplements learning with support (Myhill, 2005). Herein, the underlying principle is that the students are supported by those already in the know of the subject matter, typically, the teacher, parent and peer to further their understanding and confidence in the new skill or subject being acquired. The support is such modelled that the students gain the confidence to move beyond their existing learning horizons (Myhill, 2005). Support such offered allows greater expression of a students ability whilst minimizing the fear of failure.

3. Place onus on self-learning:


In the discourse format of learning, the students are passive listeners while the impartation of knowledge lies with the teachers. A self-learning module however evokes practical questions and stimulates real life situations that the students can benefit from. The strategy employed here is one of facilitation and correction.

Arriving at the best-fit interactive learning model


A composite and multi-pronged methodology must be employed to arrive at the best-fit interactive methodology. The strategy can be arrived at understanding the background of the students, their previous learning environs and the expectations of the stakeholders such as the parents and school. A sample questionnaire must be employed to understand the background and expectations which can then serve as the basis for the learning model to be employed. Following are some of the parameters of the study to be compiled

1. Primary Data:
Data needs to be collected independently from parents and the students, who come from different backgrounds and social strata. The data collection process employs questionnaire and interviews to elicit objective responses that can be filtered, sorted and analysed. The questionnaire is scientifically prepared and analysed to arrive at appropriate inference.

2. Secondary Data:
Secondary data consists of reliable studies and literature on interactive learning that has been drawn from the internet.

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT

3. Data Collection Method:


Data is collected employing a closed-ended questionnaire.

4. Selection of respondents:
The sample size of the survey is limited to a maximum of 100 people with an even split of students and parents. The data will be collected will be collected independently and selection of respondents will be at random.

5. Tools & techniques:


The data collected will be analysed using statistical tables, percentages, and bar-diagrams etc. Inferences drawn will be based scientific analysis with the data treated in alienation to its respondents.

6. Kind of Research:
Both quantitative and qualitative research approaches have been employed for the accomplishment of the study. Collection of data, drawing of inferences and arriving at conclusions has been accomplished in an objective and fair manner. Drawing up of the research contours has been scientific and includes the following: Data collected method. Research instrument.

7. Survey Approach:
The survey will be conducted through close ended questionnaire. This questionnaire will contain the multiple choice questions; each question will be given options. The collection of data in survey follows two types they are Primary data. Secondary data.

8. Survey Questionnaire:
The below questionnaire is to be employed for the collection of data from respondents 1. Have you heard interactive learning before? A. Yes A. Yes A. Yes B. No B. No B. No C. May Be C. May Be C. May Be 2. Do you understand the basic concept of the interactive learning methodology? 3. Do you think doing than learning enhances learning capability? 4. How comfortable are you with exercises at the end of a chapter?

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT A. Very A. Assist A. Yes A. High A. Yes A. Yes B. None B. Resist B. No B. None B. No B. No C. Can do it C. No Difference C. May Be C. Can do it C. May Be C. May Be

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5. Does interactivity assist learning or resist learning? 6. Would you like to be actively involved in group activities? 7. What is your level of interest in a group discussion? 8. Do you think students can learn from one another? 9. Does the number of students affect per capita learning?

10. Do questions from students side enhance learning of the class or hinder it? A. Enhance B. Hinder C. No Difference

9. Analysis:
Mostly As: Respondents with most As exhibit a propensity to be comfortable with the interactive learning model. These would be those who can perform best in an environment wherein the teacher is more of a facilitator. The expectation of this group is to learn by practice and application Mostly Bs: Respondents with most Bs as their responses are none too comfortable

in an interactive learning setup. They prefer hand holding by the teacher and prefer to be at the end of a discourse. They first need to be won over to accept interactive learning before administering it. Mostly Cs: Respondents with most Cs as their responses are not very keen on an

interactive learning model, however, when put into one they can exhibit excellent learning ability. Given that they are yet to formulate an opinion for or against the concept can be used as an advantage.

Present situation of interactive learning in leading nations


Interactive learning has begun to take a definite and concrete shape in several leading nations worldwide. Greater availability and use of technology has been one of the fundamental factors behind the turn towards interactive learning (Bull & Bull, 2005). The last decade of the last century and the subsequent years since have taken to interactive

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT learning in a big way. The UK for instance adopted the National Literacy Strategy in 1998 that encouraged interactive teaching style from the primary school level (Myhill, 2005). Teachers have been encouraged to break from the mould and adopt techniques that foster an out of the box and practical thinking amongst the students. The aim and objective being that in the modern day world, simply knowledge was insufficient and students needed to equip themselves with the ability to work with the knowledge they possessed and do it in a dynamic environment. Interactive learning modules in the US have been in the works for much longer with the development of the Concerns-Based Adoption Model, which identified the need for innovation and practical learning for the students. (Myhill, 2005) Similarly, several other countries have begun to accept and adopt interactive learning methods. However, several factors continue to hinder their adoption in the developing and under-developed world.

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Challenges of adopting interactive learning methods


The preceding paragraphs have sufficiently dwelt upon the various facets and advantages of employing an interactive learning strategy. The changes in our societies, lifestyles and age have made it imperative for us to change our teaching-learning models as well. Changes required and adopted point to towards a need for greater interactivity and active learning. There are several advantages that have been duly established in the preceding paragraphs to add weight to their greater acceptance. However, despite the number advantages there have also been identified that despite the obvious advantages, the prevalence of interactive learning still has plenty to be desired. Several factors make the said adoption a real challenge, which we shall briefly discuss in the following section. Foremost of the challenge that hinders the adoption of interactive learning is that there are several, and often conflicting, stakeholders in the teaching-learning chain teachers, parents, regulators and the industry all of these stakeholders are yet to fully grasp the importance of interactive learning. Or their individual and collective understanding of interactive learning is yet incomplete and/or obtuse. As a society, we must graduate our understanding to a level we recognize that the changing times demand a changing learning environment. The times we live in demand a new methodology that encompasses interactivity and encourages practical learning. From an a

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT society that was built on the foundations of the industrial age, we have now moved towards a society being built around the knowledge age. Secondly, our teachers must begin to grasp the nuances of interactive teaching. Teachers must accept and embrace the role of facilitators in the learning process of the students. The traditional teaching methods have ingrained into us that a discourse is imperative to the scheme of things. Whilst no one is attempting to diminish the value of a teacher in our modern times, clearly there is a need for a change in approach. Evaluation methods must also embrace these sweeping changes and put application before reproduction. It should not be enough to reproduce what the student has heard; instead the focus must squarely rest upon the application of the learning. Unless, there is a marked and urgent change in the mind-set of those imparting education to our students, the dream of having a full-scale, widely-accepted interactive learning environment will never be completely realised. Availability and investments into the infrastructure required to promote interactive learning is another considerable roadblock. The infrastructure in question is both micro and macro, with a need to upgrade our teaching aids and learning media to be consistent with interactive methods. Information technology can be a great tool in the accomplishment of this, and greater steps must be taken to accelerate the application of information technology in the expansion of interactive learning models.

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Recommendations
This paper has studied and evaluated various facets of the interactive learning environment and before drawing to a close, the following would be some of the recommendations to be made: A. We must identify interactive learning as an imperative and important paradigm. The changes to our business and social spheres over the last few decades have made interactive learning not just an emerging phenomenon but one that be quickly and effectively embraced. The world has quickly moved into the technological age and our curricula, methods of teaching cannot remain in the past. B. A change in mind-set is required for the various stakeholders in the teaching-learning community to understand that interactive learning is the way forward. The change, however, must not be misconstrued to less the importance of teachers or traditional methods. The shift in mind-set is to bring together the demands of the technological age with the supply of our educational systems such that there is harmony and rationalisation of both.

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT C. The traditional teaching methods seem to be currently inadequate to meet the rigours and requirements of the dynamic world that we inhabit in the 21st century. New methodologies must augment and supplement the traditional ones to arrive at a holistic and more rounded learning environment. The important factor here is not to mistaken this for jettisoning the age-old practices some of which still hold as much strength. The idea is to augment the existing practices with a new thinking, new tools and new approach. D. Shifting towards the interactive learning paradigm will require infrastructure investments that upgrade the current facilities to be more facilitating of the modern methods. Technology is a huge part of the interactive learning environment, without the embracing of technology it would be impossible to create any meaningful learning environment that encourages interactivity. E. Interactive learning environment places the focus and onus on learning instead of teaching. The student is at the centre of the function whist the remainder play a facilitating role. Evaluation is based on what has been learnt and its application. Again, the prime focus must be upon the perception level. As much as changes need to be seen on the ground, there is need for change in perceptions and mind-set.

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Conclusion
In conclusion, this paper would like to draw attention to the fact that like all things in our lives, the educational paradigm and requirements have gone through a sea-change in the past few decades. The changes have been driven by the changes in our mind-set, changes in our industry and overall change in standards and ways of living. Therefore, it is imperative that the teaching and learning systems keep pace with these changes and equip our students to be in a better shape to deal and shape future changes. There is a greater demand both professionally and on a social level for greater interactions and people-to-people contact. More than ever in our history as humankind, the entire world is now a single block wherein there are greater modes of transport and communication, bringing far more people together. There is a greater exchange of ideas and far greater adoption of practices from the far corners of the world. In our current age of technological advancement and greater interactive learning, there are two questions that stand out as most important ones the changing dynamics for faculty teaching and the challenges in the development and optimization of teachers willing to employ technology as a teaching tool (Papa, 2010). These two questions are at the heart of the emerging educational leadership.

INTERACTIVE LEARNING ENVIRONMENT Learning is imperative to meet the economic, cultural and cognitive implications of our modern, globalized society (Conner & Clawson, 2004). This can only be achieved if the educational leadership in the current times is more collective, innovative, forward-thinking and accommodative. As educators and as a society, we must realise both the perception and physical change that must be made to our educational and learning systems. From passive input-based formats we need to move to an active learning paradigm where there is greater interaction, self-induced learning, critical reasoning and collective growth.

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