Interactions in an Online Course
In the previous module, you got an overview of instructor presence which is an essential component of instructor-student interaction. In this module, we will look at the other types of interactions in an online course.
Interaction in this context refers to every instance that the learner is reading, talking with, corresponding with, discussing, etc. Interaction really is the foundation of your course, and it’s important to understand the different types of interactions because all are important, and some types will work better in certain situations than others. There are three basic types of interactions and these are:
These may be synchronous in the form of a phone call, an online chat, a video conference, or some other real-time form of communication. S-I interactions may also be asynchronous via email, text messages, podcasts, or other means where the message is sent at one time and received later.
Much like the I-S interactions, these can take place synchronously or asynchronously. Common forms of S-S interaction in online courses would be discussion forums and group projects.
This is the interaction the student has with the course material. These interactions may be low-key and basic such as reading the textbook. However, students may also engage in simulations, games, virtual labs, and other high-tech tools depending on the subject taught. Incorporating learning objects of this type helps by giving your student opportunities for prolonged engagement with the learning material, and this is essential to the learning process. It’s not a good idea to depend too heavily on student-content interactions if that interaction is limited to reading the textbook. In cases like this, your instructor-student interactions become even more critical!
Now that you have learned about interactions in an online course, it’s a good time to thinking about the Discussion Boards in Online Courses.