The “doer effect”

A study looking at the effect of interactive practice  and student learning found that the learning effect of doing is about six times greater than that of reading.

The “doer effect” is an association between the number of online interactive practice activities students’ do and their learning outcomes that is not only statistically reliable but has much higher positive effects than other learning resources, such as watching videos or reading text. [1]


  • Capitalizes on curiosity and exploratory approach to learning
  • Improves engagement though active learning, problem solving or gamification
  • Consolidates knowledge
  • Retrieval practice​ with formative (or low stakes) interactions over time is known to aid learning
  • Improves inclusivity in courses as most interactions allow students to control how fast they go through the interaction, unlike a live lecture or videos where control is limited.
  • Can be used to encourage relational learning when combined with LMS tools or synchronous group learning activities

Capitalizing on the Doer Effect[3]

Factors to consider when creating H5P.

H5P …

  • are aligned with learning objectives,
  • are embedded in the course content,
  • provide opportunities for students to test their understanding of concepts and to practice skills,
  • take various formats (e.g., multiple-choice questions, interactive simulations, drop and drag, matching, and other options),
  • target common student misconceptions or areas of confusion,
  • deliver corrective feedback (e.g., correcting student misunderstandings when an incorrect answer is selected),
  • deliver reinforcing feedback (e.g., explaining why correct answers are correct),
  • deliver immediate feedback as-needed (e.g., when a selected answer is incorrect),
  • deliver immediate feedback as-requested (e.g., in the form of a hint).

Some Suggested uses[4]

Tools for Formative Assessment Multiple Choice
Fill in the Blanks
Mark the Words
Drag and Drop
Tools for Unit Review Course Presentation
Tools for Multimedia Integration Interactive Videos
Image Hotspots
Tools for Student Submissions Questionnaire
Audio Recorder
Documentation Tool

  1. Koedinger, K. R., McLaughlin, E. A., Jia, J. Z., & Bier, N. L. (2016, April). Is the doer effect a causal relationship? How can we tell and why it’s important. In Proceedings of the Sixth International Conference on Learning Analytics & Knowledge (pp. 388-397).
  2. Adapted from Gill, P. (2023). Why use H5P. UBC's H5P Open Hub. CC-BY-NC 4.0 License.
  3. JR. (2020, August 26). The DOER Effect and H5P[blog post].
  4. Adapted from Clark Gray, B. (2023). Why use H5P table. UBC's H5P Open Hub. CC-BY-NC 4.0 LICENSE. Gray, B.


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Using H5P in Pressbooks Copyright © 2023 by NSCC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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