Can New Technologies Increase Interaction in Online Education?

Written by: Angie Parker, Ph.D., and Steve Parker
Published On: July 14, 2014

There are three types of interaction in online courses: learner-to-content, learner-to-instructor, and learner-to-learner. Each contributes to student retention and motivation. This article elaborates on these types of interaction and suggests which technologies can facilitate each type of interaction.

Learner to content

Learner-to-content interaction occurs when the online student examines the course content and begins to develop an individualized learning path. This learning path can be accentuated, say Picciano & Seaman (2009), if the design of the course content encourages students to expand their thinking and to approach the topic in a variety of ways. When a multiplicity of interaction with the content is available, students report an immediate sense of confidence in the online environment (Ritter, Polnick, Fink & Oesher, 2010).

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