Traditional online learning environments grew out of administrative management of courses and, thus, leave much to be desired for skills-based learning. However, by re-framing the environments to be minimal in the information that it displays and the gestures that it requires from the user; they can be transformed into an interface perhaps leading to better performance and knowledge
Interface design in educational software plays a crucial role in how learners interact with the educational content, and consequently how they acquire knowledge and what knowledge they acquire. Visual metaphor could improve the quality of mental formation, yet simultaneously increase users’ mental load during navigation. In addition, cognitive style is a crucial factor that can significantly affect users’ learning performance.
Current user interfaces cast users into one of two roles: telling a system everything it must do, or answering questions that it poses to them. In neither case is it possible for a dialogue to emerge between user and system. However, by bringing a dialogue-like structure to user-system interaction can promote reflective cognition and improve learning.