Types of interaction in an online course
I just wanted to point out some observations and best practices when it comes to interacting over online courses.
There are four types of interaction in an online course:
1. between the student and other students
This is a critical factor for student well-being and success. I’ve observed that my most successful groups of students have a tight-knit community where they interact inside and outside of class. This is most commonly done through tools like Discord. It is used to support each other both mentally and with school work and pass along important messages and experiences about the course work. Contrary to what some might assume, students are generally hesitant to use such channels to cheat or for unethical behavior.
2. between the student and instructor
This is another critical relationship where a student and instructor who have a strong rapport and professional relationship, often create enhanced and more efficient learning outcomes. When the student trusts and respects their instructor, they are more likely to engage in class, learn, ask for help and do all of the things a student can do, in order to succeed.
3. between the student and the content
The content is a huge factor and if the content is frustrating, unclear or lacking in substance, resources, support and explanation a student will not succeed or flourish. On the positive side, if an instructor creates and explains their content in a manner well-suited for online learning, students will flourish and relish the learning experience.
4. between the student and the technology
Although this is described as an issue between the student and technology, I disagree in many ways. The technology comes down to the LMS that the institution chooses, if the LMS is unsuitable or not functioning properly, the student has no chance to make good use of the technology. If there’s an LMS issue, it’s often something out of the student’s control and creates a cascading waterfall of chaos for everyone involved. Where the student side does come in, is that the student must be aware of the technology requirements to do their online course whether it’s a webcam, microphone, a PC with certain minimum specifications
Post this list to your blog so you have it when you’re designing your course modules in EDUC 4152. In addition, include at least one thought, plan or idea for each interaction type that will aid in creating/enhancing interaction in your online course.
One critical point that is not always within a student’s control, is that they need a high-speed, reliable connection and connectivity that works well to the LMS. This means that overseas internet traffic to the LMS of the institution could be a choke point potentially.
As long as the student and institution communicate the issues and requirements I believe that online learning works very well.