You are here:

Giving Learners Control through Interaction Design PROCEEDINGS

, , Athabasca University, Canada

E-Learn: World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA ISBN 978-1-880094-66-2 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


The design of learning environments should cater for the needs of diverse online learners and give learners control over their own learning, but it is not enough simply to provide choices: without the associated power to make informed decisions too many choices are, if anything, worse than no choice at all. Without guidance, bad choices may be made and, even when correct, the learner may be insecure about the outcomes. To be in control, the learner must be able to delegate some control to others more able to make informed decisions about a learning path. Interaction design can help the learner to make a good decision about how to proceed. This paper discusses relevant interaction design frameworks and combines them with transactional control theory and Paulsen’s laws of co-operative freedom to offer design principles for online courses that can help to put the learner in control. Outstanding issues for future development on interaction design and e-learning will also be discussed


Lee, S. & Dron, J. (2008). Giving Learners Control through Interaction Design. In C. Bonk, M. Lee & T. Reynolds (Eds.), Proceedings of E-Learn 2008--World Conference on E-Learning in Corporate, Government, Healthcare, and Higher Education (pp. 1737-1744). Las Vegas, Nevada, USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved November 13, 2018 from .

View References & Citations Map


  1. Anderson, T. (2006). Higher education evolution: Individual freedom afforded by educational social software.. In M. Beaudoin (Ed.), Perspectives on the Future of Higher Education in the Digital Age (pp. 77-90). New York: Nova Science Publishers.
  2. Barker, I. (2005). What is Information Architecture? [Electronic Version]. Retrieved May 24, 2008, from
  3. Cooper, A. (2007). About Face 3: The Essentials of Interaction Design. Indianapolis, IN: Wiley Publishing Inc.
  4. Creed, T. (1996). Extending the Classroom Walls Electronically. In William Campbell and Karl Smith (Ed.), New Paradigms for College Teaching. Edina, MN: Interaction Book Co.
  5. Dron, J. (2007). Control and Constraint in E-Learning: Choosing When to Choose. Hershey, PA: Idea Group International.
  6. Holmberg, B. (1986). A Discipline of Distance Education. Journal of Distance Education, 1(1).
  7. Knemeyer, D. (2003). Information Design: The Understanding Discipline. [Electronic Version]. Retrieved May 24 2008, from Lidwell, W., Holden, K., & Butler, J. (2003). Universal Principles of Design. Beverly, MA: Rockport.
  8. Maeda, J. (2006). The Laws of Simplicity. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
  9. Norman, D.A. (2004). Emotional Design. New York, NY: Basic Books.
  10. Palloff, R.M., & Pratt, K. (1999). Building Learning Communities in Cyberspace: Effective Strategies for the Online Classroom. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
  11. Paulsen, M.F. (2003). Online Education and Learning Management Systems. Global e-learning in a Scandinavian perspective.. Oslo: NKI Forlaget.
  12. Salmon, G. (2000). E-moderating: The Key to Teaching and Learning Online. London: Kogan Page.
  13. Schwartz, B. (2004). The Paradox of Choice: Why less is more. New York: HarperCollins.
  14. Senge, P.M. (1993). The Fifth Discipline-the art and practice of the learning organisation. Chatham: Century Business.

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact