Interactive video

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1 Interactive video

Mary Wilson, Memorial University of Newfoundland

2 Definitions and background

As defined by Annetta and Minogue (2004), interactive [video] is a “two-way video conference network system” (p. 485). Interactive videos present new ways of using the television, including on-demand video, two-way conference and phone-in programs (Pemberton, Fallahkhair & Masthoff, 2005). Interactive television users are able to select subtitles or captions, choose from different audio and video streams, communicate by email or telephone during a broadcast and access supplementary materials on screen while viewing the video (Fallahkhair, Pemberton & Griffiths, 2007).

Instructors using interactive television as a teaching tool make use of a variety of multimedia tools, such as cameras and microphones, to promote interaction with participants (Johnson, Lohman, Sharo & Krenz, 2000). Unique elements linked to a live television broadcast, such as live-to-air questions, answer sessions with the presenter, faxing assignments and telephone conversations, define interactive television and videos in an educational setting (Evans, Stacey, Tregenza, 2001).

3 Affordances

The ability to display a combination of video and computer images and features makes interactive videos a unique educational tool (Hannafin, 1985). Teachers living in remote or rural communities have the opportunity to engage in professional development sessions without traveling (Evens et al, 2001). These professional development sessions are favoured by teachers due to the reduced amount of time away from home and classroom and the money saved by not traveling long distances (Annetta et al, 2004). Pre-service teachers are also benefitting from interactive television as a means to observe remote classrooms and “theory in action” without disturbing the students with their physical presence in the classroom (Marsh, Mitchell, Adamczyk, 2009).

Comparably, interactive videos can present options for students who live in secluded regions and feel isolated from available resources (Evans et al, 2001). Interactive television can allow students to tune into learning opportunities via a broadcast system. Learning in context is also a possibility thanks to interactive television (Fallahkhair et al., 2007).

Interactive television is often used as a medium for distance education. Hilgenber and Tolone (2000) found that students were generally satisfied with their course and the dialogue with the instructor, which was made possible with interactive elements. The features of interactive television, such as phone-in conversations or live-to air question periods, have proven to be a motivational factor for students because they are more motivated to engage in the discussion during an interactive session and to prepare a quality response (Evans et al., 2001). Russell and Newton (2008) also found that interactive video gaming was an effective tool for enhancing student motivation and mood for effective physical exercise. Physical educators will find that interactive gaming is an effective way to motivate those students who are interested in video games and are less physically active (Russell & Newton, 2008). Hammond et al. (2014) found that interactive videos were also an effective way to engage young, game-literate students on pedestrian safety. Without having to leave the safety and confines of the classroom, students could engage in videos containing real life footage; students were more able to transfer knowledge than had they been engaged in a simulated activity (Hammond et al, 2014).

During baseball training, Fadde (2006) determined that interactive videos were an effective way to improve player’s batting performance “that is generally conceded to result only from instinct or massed experience” (p. 253). Likewise, Interactive television provides students with just-in-time support (Fallahkhair et al., 2007), a feature that cannot be made possible with pre-recorded educational videos. Students of interactive television also score higher than students of taped video because they have the advantage of face-to-face interaction with the instructor and received immediate feedback (Paulson, Higgins, Perterson-Miller, Strawser and Boone, 1998).

4 Constraints

While interactive television presents itself as a beneficial tool for learning, it is often not used the way in it is intended to be used (Evans et al, 2001). Education facilities invest a lot of money into installing interactive television equipment but extra efforts are needed to ensure teachers know how to use it through professional development and teachers also need to feel positive about it as a learning tool (Dobbs, 2004).

Research is supportive of student-centred learning for distance education because of its ability to engage learners and increase student success, but interactive television instructions are still inclined to instruct from a teacher-centred approach (Dupin-Bryant, 2010). The use of interactive television for distance education presents geographic separation between students and instructor, and technical barriers can impede student learning and interaction with the instructor (Dupin-Bryant, 2010). Paulson et al. (1998) also concluded that students felt that instructors of interactive television were not taking an active role in delivering content and were disengaged. In one study instructors were using the platform as simply a television and were bypassing the interactive activities that were planned for the course; the instructors needed to be encouraged to engage their remote students through the interactivity components (Johnson et al., 2000).

Students also have to deal with new distractions when learning via interactive television, such as glitches with technical devices and taking notes from a TV monitor (Paulson et al., 1998). Learning could also be impeded by interactive television due to the difficulties in differentiating instruction to meet the needs of diverse learners (Schaffer & Hannafin,1986). When using interactive television as a means to deliver a second language course, Evans et al. (2001) reported that many students found the pace of the class “too fast and the level of vocabulary introduction too difficult for them” (p.11). The students of this course needed to rely on the assistance of the teacher in the classroom to keep up with the content that was being delivered (Evens et al., 2001). Instructional time and quality of learning were found to be negatively correlated to increased interactivity, suggesting that additional learning would be necessary when instructional tv is used as an instructional tool (Hannafin, 1985).

5 Links

Second Graders Take to Interactive TV Teaching

Student Guide to Interactive Television

Interactive TV builds literacy skills among low-income kids

Interactive Educational Television in the Amazon

MIT interactive videos get high school students thinking like scientists

6 Works Cited

Annetta, L. and Minogue, J. (2004). The effect teaching experience has on perceived effectiveness of interactive television as a distance education model for elementary school science teacher’s professional development: another digital divide? Journal of Science Education and Technology, 13(4), 485-495. doi 10.1007/s10956-004-1469-8

Dobbs, R. L. (2004). Impact of training on faculty and administrators in an interactive television environment. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 5(3), 183-194. Retrieved from

Dupin-Bryant, P. (2004) Teaching styles of interactive television instructors: a descriptive study. American Journal of Distance Education, 18(1), 39-50. doi: 10.1207/s15389286ajde1801_4

Evans, T , Stacey, E & Tregenza, K. (2001). Interactive television in schools: an Australian study of the tensions of educational technology and change. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 2 (1), 1-16. Retrieved from:

Fadde, P. (2006). Interactive video training of perceptual decision-making in the sport of baseball. Technology, Instruction, Cognition and Learning, 4, 237-256. Retrieved from

Fallankhair, S., Pemberton, L. and Griffiths, R. (2007). Development of a cross platform ubiquitous language learning service via mobile phone and interactive television. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 23, 312-325. doi: 10.1111/j.13652729.2007.00236.x

Hammond, J., Cherret, T., Waterson, B. (2014). Making in-class skills training more effective: the scope for interactive videos to complement the delivery of practical pedestrian training. British Journal of Educational Technology. doi:10.1111/bjet.12205

Hannafin, M. (1985). Emperical issues in the study of computer-assisted interactive video. Educational Communication and Technology, 33(4), 235-247. Retrieved from

Hilgenberg, C. & Tolone, W. (2000). Student perceptions of satisfaction and opportunities for critical thinking in distance education by interactive video. American Journal of Distance Education, 14(3), 59-73. doi: 10.1080/08923640009527065

Johnson, L., Lohman, M., Sharp, J. & Krenz, T.S. (2000). Continuing dental education via an interactive video network: course development, implementation and evaluation. Journal of Educational Media, 25(2), 129-140. doi: 10.1080/1358165000250205

Marsh, B., Mitchell, N. and Adamcsyk, P. (2010). Interactive video technology: enhancing professional learning in initial teacher education. Computers & Education, 54, 742–748. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2009.09.011

Paulson, K., Higgins, K., Peterson Miller, S., Strawser, S. and Boone, R. (1998). Delivering instruction via interactive television and videotape: student achievement and satisfaction. Journal of Special Education Technology, 13(4), 59-77. Retrieved from

Pemberton, L., Fallahkhair, S., & Masthoff, J. (2005). Learner centred development of a mobile and iTV language learning support system. Educational Technology & Society, 8(4), 52-63. Retrieved from

Russell, W. D., & Newton, M. (2008). Short-term psychological effects of interactive video game technology exercise on mood and attention. Educational Technology & Society, 11(2), 294-308. Retrieved from

Schaffer, L. and Hannafin, M. (1986). The effects of progressive interactivity on learning from interactive video. Educational Communication and Technology, 34(2), pp. 89-96. Retrieved from