What are we talking about, when we talk about online interactions?

Date & Time

Aug 5th at 2:10 PM until 2:30 PM


Research To Practice 
DT&L Talk 


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This is a 20 minute session. This session will take place from 2:10 - 2:30 pm.

Interactions in Online Courses in American Higher Education: What Are We Talking About, When We Talk About Online Interactions? Online technology has the potential to construct an interactive and collaborative learning environment that develops a transformative model of learning (Gabriel, 2004). This potential drove me to conduct this literature review study. Key Ideas/Findings: (1) This literature consistently shows the positive and significant impact of online interactions on different student outcomes, which illustrate the important roles of learner-learner, learner-instructor, and learner-content interactions (Chen et al., 2010; Cook & Germann, 2010; Fredericksen et al., 2000; Kuo et al., 2014; Kurucay & Inan, 2017; Ramos & Yudko, 2008; Sher, 2009). Online interactions contribute to course grades as well as students’ perceived learning and satisfaction. That is, online interactions influence not only students’ academic performance but also their learning experiences, which together predict students’ potential success in online courses (Kurucay & Inan, 2017). (2) This literature review demonstrates that among all the influential factors, instructional design such as the use of various tools, designing online discussion, and the nature of tasks have been identified as the primary variables that are predictive of all three interaction dynamics (Banna et al., 2015; Ertmer et al., 2011; Mackavey and Cron, 2019; Smallwood & Brunner, 2017; Thomas & MacGregor, 2005). (3) I believe this field of study needs to extend the conceptualization on the quality of interaction beyond just the quantity. The connotations of cognitive dimension as the indicator of the quality of online interactions remain unclear, the same as how it relates to the "quality" of learning. Measuring the frequency of students’ or instructors’ discussion posts per class or students’ time spent in chat rooms as indicators for online interactions is problematic as we fail to see and address the variations within these quantitative measurements (Ertmer et al., 2011; Pawan et al., 2003). Students might be logged in but not engaged in the learning activities, or they may engage in low cognitive level or off-topic discussions (Burnett et al., 2007; Cook & Germann, 2000; Kellogg & Smith, 2009). Though instructors may respond initially to students, feedback may not be timely as students need; as a result, learning can be compromised (Burnett et al., 2007). VIEW THIS SESSION [Mediasite player]