Some students believe that their intellectual ability is a fixed trait. They have a certain amount of intelligence, and that’s that. Students with this fixed mind-set become excessively concerned with how smart they are, seeking tasks that will prove their intelligence and avoiding ones that might not (Dweck, 1999, 2006). The desire to learn takes a backseat.
Other students believe that their intellectual ability is something they can develop through effort and education. They don’t necessarily believe that anyone can become an Einstein or a Mozart, but they do understand that even Einstein and Mozart had to put in years of effort to become who they were. When students believe that they can develop their intelligence, they focus on doing just that.
The common wisdom holds that in the information age, we are each responsible for our own learning. The new insight is that we are each responsible for our own instructional design. We must ask ourselves whether we want to learn something or just to learn how to find it.
In fact, Michael Moore, of the American Journal of Distance Education, wrote that interactivity between a learner and the content is “the defining characteristic of education. Without it there cannot be education, since it is the process of intellectually interacting with content that results in changes in the learner’s understanding, the learner’s perspective, or the cognitive structures of the learner’s mind.”
William Horton, a leading expert in the field of web-based instructional design, in his work titled Designing Web-Based Training. Horton writes, “Interactivity boosts learning. People learn faster and develop more positive attitudes when learning is interactive.”