ERIC Number: ED477075
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2002-Jun
Learner Perceptions of Online Interaction.
Northrup, Pam; Lee, Russell; Burgess, Vance
The purpose of this study was to investigate the types of interactions that students perceived to be important for online learning. The interaction attributes investigated included content interaction, conversation and collaboration, intrapersonal/metacognitive skills, and need for support. Also investigated were reasons why learners were taking online courses. It was presumed that students taking courses for convenience, flexibility,or preference would likely be more pleased with interaction in online course than those required to take an online course because it was not offered on campus. Participants were 52 graduate students in an online masters program in instructional technology; 34 of the students were female and 18 were male. Intact classes of students were selected from two courses at the beginning of their online learning sequence and two courses at the end of their online learning sequence. The instrument used for this study was the Online Learning Interaction Inventory (OLLI), with a reliability coefficient of .95. In this study, online learners echo the importance of interaction by requesting interactive elements in their online experiences. Participants in this study are still most comfortable with the idea of simulating a campus-based class online, as reflected in their statements regarding the desire for instructors to use online audio-narrated lectures, provide notetaking guides, and discuss learned experiences in some type of online conversation. Although their comfort is with the "known" they still favorably rated using more innovative strategies in the online environment including case studies, debates, role-plays, and gaming. The foundation of the online learning environment however, included the notion of solid student support and self-directedness. Participants strongly stated that the need for timely responses from peers and from their instructor was of utmost importance. They also indicated that it was essential for students to self-monitor their progress for survival in the online course. (Contains 11 references.) (AEF)
Descriptors: Computer Assisted Instruction, Computer Mediated Communication, Distance Education, Educational Technology, Graduate Students, Higher Education, Interaction, Masters Programs, Nontraditional Education, Online Systems, Student Attitudes, Student Reaction, Student Surveys
Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), P.O. Box 3728, Norfolk, VA 23514. Tel: 757-623-7588; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.aace.org/DL/.
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: ED-MEDIA 2002 World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications. Proceedings (14th, Denver, Colorado, June 24-29, 2002); see IR 021 687.