Building Interaction in Online and Distance Education Courses.Report as inadecuate

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Studies have shown that the single greatest factor affecting student satisfaction in distance education courses is the amount of interaction that occurs between teacher and students. New technologies have expanded the potential for interaction between students and instructors, but meaningful interaction that contributes to student growth and learning requires careful planning on the part of the instructor. Two sections of a graduate level instructional technology course delivered via video teleconferencing and online instruction were examined for instructional strategies that were used to build interaction. In addition, the effectiveness of the strategies and student responses to the interaction were explored. Meaningful interaction was achieved in the categories of learner-content, learner-learner, and learner-instructor. This was achieved through the instructor's careful planning of collaborative course activities that were specifically designed to support course objectives. Students were taught to use the interactive technologies (e-mail, bulletin board, chat) before they were required to use them, and these skills were reinforced and refined as the course progressed and the students became more proficient in using the technologies. The greatest problem appeared to be the delayed and limited feedback the instructor was able to provide regarding assignments. (Author/AEF)

Descriptors: Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Mediated Communication, Distance Education, Educational Technology, Graduate Study, Higher Education, Instructional Design, Instructional Effectiveness, Interaction, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods, Teleconferencing

Author: Kirby, Elizabeth


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