How do you provide interactive digital education?

Flipped Classroom

Nowadays, digital education has become the most normal thing in the world (literally). But what are the success factors? Read what we've learned so far in this blog.

Do you already care? digital education? There is a good chance that you, as a lecturer or trainer, should have believed it too. In this blog, we provide you with information about what we've learned about digital education so far.

In 2020, the transition from offline to online education was rather fleeting. Within one weekend, a lot of teaching material suddenly had to be changed. And we all did a great job together! We worked day and night to keep the quality of education optimal.

We switched to digital en masse!

Unfortunately, it still doesn't look like things will be back to the way they were before anytime soon. And that takes patience and resilience... Yet we don't just have the disadvantages of online education experienced. We also noticed what we really liked about distance education. Out research Indeed, it appears that the flexibility of online education appeals to both teachers and students. They would like to keep this in the future.

But we've also learned from our mistakes. The year 2022 has now arrived and we think it is time to pause and reflect. Now that we've been on the road for a while, we've been given more time and space to make the necessary adjustments to digital education. Thanks to research into the experience of digital education during the corona pandemic, we are getting an increasingly better picture of what digital education should look like.

For example, have you ever considered inviting a guest lecturer from abroad to a seminar? The perfect example of getting the most out of digital education! Online teaching sometimes requires a little extra attention and care. But then you also have something!

How do you provide interactive digital education?

It has been found that interaction is a crucial factor for interesting and effective digital education. Here you can distinguish between three types of interaction, namely:

  • student-student interaction;
  • student-teacher interaction;
  • and student content interaction.

Each of these species is incredibly important. And the lecturer is the most influential factor in this. You have to see it in such a way that the interaction between student and teacher has a lot of influence on the other types of interaction. This is because good interaction between student and lecturer leads to a better absorption of the subject matter (student-content interaction). Every form of interaction needs the right approach. So it's a big responsibility.

Let's start with the first form, the interaction between students. Also known as: social learning mentioned.

1. Student-student interaction

According to psychology, a person needs three ingredients to become motivated. These are competence, autonomy and connectedness. Connectivity is also known as the sense of belonging mentioned. In other words: the feeling that you are part of a group. As a lecturer, you need to make sure that your students feel like they're forming a group with each other.

But how can you achieve this?

Sense of belonging

It's not that hard. With just small adjustments, you can already create a so-called sense of belonging. For example, make some time for mutual small talk. In a digital environment, we often tend to move quickly to the order of the day. We do this because we want to be productive and “keep going fast”. While this actually has the opposite effect. It exhausts us more quickly, so we are less able to pay attention to subsequent meetings. Just a light chat with each other can do wonders.

In addition, it is good to ensure that everyone calls each other by name and that inclusive pronouns are used. This includes “we” and “us”. These words immediately evoke a sense of belonging, leading to higher satisfaction and a more positive learning experience.

The best way to connect is sharing mutual feelings. But the fact is that it is much more difficult to show and interpret body language and facial expressions online. So try to take a different tack. Explicitly state your feelings instead of showing them non-verbally. Or use humor, that relieves!

Encourage students to create a WhatsApp group with each other.

2. Student-teacher interaction

And then: the contact between you and your students. This often takes place via an online learning environment. Hopefully, you are already using an online learning environment that offers many opportunities to interact. Not yet? Then take a look at the electronic learning environment by Pluvo!

What have we learned so far from the student-teacher interaction?


First, we learned that teacher communication must be transparent and explicit. In contrast to face-to-face lessons, students are more likely to miss certain information. After all, there is a lot of noise online. Think of notifications that suddenly come into the picture, or the connection that suddenly drops.

Perhaps you are 'normally' used to not completely chewing plans and schedules in order to train your students' self-learning ability. You can let go of this in digital education! After all, your students are already sufficiently challenged when it comes to self-directed learning. When it comes to digital education, it is much more important that the message comes across clearly.


Furthermore, we have learned so far that it leads to positive effects if you are regularly available as a lecturer. This means that you respond to questions and emails on time. Prevent your students from knowing where and when to consult you if they run into something. So be transparent about any office hours or, for example, schedule a weekly Q&A session. Or maybe it's a good idea to partly exchange classroom time for 1:1 meetings.

Real person

Another tip is to present yourself as a real person. This may sound obvious, but in practice, we see that a distant relationship between lecturer and student is more often created online. However, it is important for the productivity of your students that a safe relationship is established, so that they feel free to share what they are up against. You would do well to share personal experiences on a regular basis. Or to ask how the students feel, and also tell them how you feel.

For example, start the lesson by asking what your students did over the weekend. Or turn on your favorite music playlist, which you'll talk about next. These kinds of moments also serve as a cognitive breather. A little light-hearted!

A plus to online education is that students already see you regularly in your home situation. Take advantage of this! Many teachers blur their backgrounds or sit in front of a white wall. They don't realise that showing a living room actually contributes to a 'human' student-teacher interaction.


Do you notice that your students are sinking away and taking a passive attitude? For example, are there long silences after you've asked a classroom question? This is not exactly beneficial to the motivation of both parties (students and lecturer). At least make sure you take an active stance yourself and solve it in a fun way. For example, instruct everyone to set a different background as quickly as possible. Whoever is last gets the turn... This also temporarily creates a different atmosphere.

Another tip against inaction is to use the chat fanatically during an online meeting. This can significantly lower the barrier to asking a question, compared to offline meetings.

“For some people, the threshold is so much lower via chat, it's really great” - says a lecturer.

3. Student content interaction

And finally: the interaction between student and content! This is all about well-designed learning activities, focused on self-directed learning. Since your students sometimes have to be motivated to get started online, it is important that you adapt the subject matter accordingly.

But how do you design a good learning activity?


What we've learned so far during this pandemic is that teachers who use the right electronic learning environment, gain a good insight into the classroom's learning process. This makes it easy to download a digital overview of the progress per student.

However, it is actually more difficult for students themselves to gain insight into their own progress when they distance learning get. Since students have less contact with each other, they have less comparison material. As a teacher, you can respond to this! For example, enter a weekly quiz or have everyone take a small test for bonus points once in a while. This is how you let them know which substance they should control at that exact moment.

So set clear expectations. From a distance, it is more difficult for students to determine at what level they should take in certain subject matter. You can communicate this more clearly by attaching additional documents. For example, do your students need to read an article? Then add a reading guide, including in-depth questions and the common thread of the story. And don't forget the practice test!

To get the most out of digital education, you have to be creative. For example, invite a foreign guest speaker to give a seminar. There is a good chance that this will be appreciated by your students.

What digital tools can you use?

The big advantage of digital education is that there are thousands digital tools exist that make learning more fun and easier. It's a shame if you didn't benefit from this! This way, your students no longer have to learn from a book alone, but they can work with the material themselves in many creative ways. Think of games that cater to the competitive nature of your students. Or tools that allow you to visualise certain mechanisms or theories.

Read more about using digital tools in education!

Remote teaching: go or no go?

We have now learned that digital education so it certainly does not require less effort and effort than face-to-face lessons. In fact, it requires more care and attention towards the students.

Outsourcing digital education? We can help you with that!

However, we can say that digital education has many advantages, such as that the threshold for asking questions is often lower. And that giving online lesson certainly doesn't have to be boring! There are many ways to add more diversity to your lessons, for example by using digital tools. This allows your students to absorb the material in many different ways.

Want to learn even more about digital education? Then also read this blog about blended education, a form of combining home study with plenary education.

We hope you've benefited from the insights from this blog. If you have any questions, please contact us. We are happy to think along with you.

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