Interaction in distance education and online learning: using evidence and theory to improve practice
- 3.9k Downloads
In a recent meta-analysis of distance and online learning, Bernard et al. (2009) quantitatively verified the importance of three types of interaction: among students, between the instructor and students, and between students and course content. In this paper we explore these findings further, discuss methodological issues in research and suggest how these results may foster instructional improvement. We highlight several evidence-based approaches that may be useful in the next generation of distance and online learning. These include principles and applications stemming from the theories of self-regulation and multimedia learning, research-based motivational principles and collaborative learning principles. We also discuss the pedagogical challenges inherent in distance and online learning that need to be considered in instructional design and software development.
KeywordsDistance education Online learning Self-regulation Multimedia learning Motivation Collaboration Instructional design Cooperative learning Metacognition
- Abrami, P. C., Chambers, B., Poulsen, C., De Simone, C., d’Apollonia, S., & Howden, J. (1995). Classroom connections: Understanding and using cooperative learning. Toronto, ON: Harcourt Brace.Google Scholar
- Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., Pillay, V., Aslan, O., Bures, E., & Bentley, C. (2008). Encouraging self-regulated learning through electronic portfolios. Canadian Journal on Learning and Technology, 34(3), 93–117.Google Scholar
- Anderson, T. (2003). Getting the mix right again: An updated and theoretical rationale for interaction. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 4(2), 9–14.Google Scholar
- Bates, A. (1990). Interactivity as a criterion for media selection in distance education. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Asian association of open universities, Jakarta, Indonesia. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED329245)Google Scholar
- Beldarrain, Y. (2008). Integrating interaction in distance learning: A comparative analysis of five design frameworks. In C. Bonk et al. (Eds.), Proceedings of world conference on e-learning in corporate, government, healthcare and higher education 2008 (pp. 1471–1477). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. Retrieved from http://www.editlib.org/p/29841.
- Bernard, R. M., Abrami, P. C., Lou, Y., Borokhovski, E., Wade, A., Wozney, L., et al. (2004b). How does distance education compare with classroom instruction? A meta-analysis of the empirical literature. Review of Educational Research, 3(74), 379–439. doi: 10.3102/00346543074003379.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Brookfield, S. (1995). Developing critical thinkers. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
- Burns, T. C., & Ungerleider, C. S. (2003). Information and communication technologies in elementary and secondary education: State of the art review. International Journal of Educational Policy, Research, & Practice, 3(4), 27–54.Google Scholar
- Cavanaugh, C., Gillan, K. J., Kromey, J., Hess, M., & Blomeyer, R. (2004). The effects of distance education on K-12 student outcomes: A meta-analysis. Naperville, IL: Learning Point Associates.Google Scholar
- Chickering, A. W., & Gamson, Z. F. (1987). Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education. AAHE Bulletin, 39(7), 3–6.Google Scholar
- Clark, R. E. (2000). Evaluating distance education: Strategies and cautions. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 1(1), 3–16.Google Scholar
- Cohen, E. G. (1994). Designing groupwork: Strategies for the heterogeneous classroom. New York: Teachers College Press.Google Scholar
- Daniel, J., & Marquis, C. (1979). Interaction and independence: Getting the mixture right. Teaching at a Distance, 15, 25–44.Google Scholar
- Daniel, J., & Marquis, C. (1988). Interaction and independence: Getting the mix right. In D. Sewart, D. Keegan, & B. Holmberg (Eds.), Distance education: International perspectives (pp. 339–359). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Garrison, D. R., & Shale, D. (1990). A new framework and perspective. In D. R. Garrison & D. Shale (Eds.), Education at a distance: From issues to practice (pp. 123–133). Malabar, FL: Krieger.Google Scholar
- Hickey, D., & McCaslin, M. (2001). A Comparative, socio-cultural analysis of context and motivation. In S. Volet & S. Järvalä (Eds.), Motivation in learning contexts: Theoretical advancements and methodological implications (pp. 33–55). Elmsford, NY: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
- Jahng, N., Krug, D., & Zhang, Z. (2007). Student achievement in online education compared to face-to-face education. European Journal of Open, Distance and E-Learning. Retrieved from http://www.eurodl.org/materials/contrib/2007/Jahng_Krug_Zhang.htm.
- Jaspers, F. (1991). Interactivity or instruction? A reaction to Merrill. Educational Technology, 31(3), 21–24.Google Scholar
- Knowles, M. S. (1980). The modern practice of adult education: From pedagogy to andragogy. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice Hall/Cambridge.Google Scholar
- Latane, B., Williams, K., & Harkins, S. (1979). Many hands make light the work: The causes and consequences of social loafing. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37(6), 823–832.Google Scholar
- Laurillard, D. (1997). Rethinking university teaching: A framework for the effective use of educational technology. London: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Mayer, R. E. (2001). Multimedia learning. New York: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- Mayer, R. E. (2008). Learning and instruction (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Merrill Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
- Muirhead, B. (2001a). Enhancing social interaction in computer-mediated distance education. USDLA Journal, 15(4). Retrieved from http://www.usdla.org/html/journal/APR01_Issue/article02.html.
- Muirhead, B. (2001b). Interactivity research studies. Educational Technology & Society, 4(3). Retrieved from http://ifets.ieee.org/periodical/vol_3_2001/muirhead.html.
- Nipper, S. (1989). Third generation distance learning and computer conferencing. In R. Mason & A. Kaye (Eds.), Mindweave: Communication, computers and distance education (pp. 63–73). Oxford, England: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
- Paivio, A. (1971). Imagery and verbal processes. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.Google Scholar
- Paivio, A. (1986). Mental representations: A dual coding approach. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Schmid, R. F., Bernard, R. M., Borokhovski, E., Tamim, R., Abrami, P. C., Wade, A., et al. (2009). Technology’s effect on achievement in higher education: A stage I meta-analysis of classroom applications. Journal of Computing in Higher Education, 21, 95–109. doi: 10.1007/s12528-009-9021-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Seligman, M. E. P. (1975). Helplessness: On depression, development and death. San Francisco: W.H. Freeman.Google Scholar
- Steiner, I. D. (1972). Group process and productivity. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.Google Scholar
- U.S Department of Education, Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. (2009). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. D.C: Washington.Google Scholar
- Webb, N. M. (2008). Learning in small groups. In T. L. Good (Ed.), 21st Century education: A reference handbook (pp. 203–211). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.Google Scholar
- Webb, N. M., & Palincsar, A. S. (1996). Group processes in the classroom. In D. Berliner & R. Calfee (Eds.), Handbook of educational psychology (pp. 841–873). New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
- Weiner, B. (1980). Human motivation. New York: Holt-Rinehart, & Winston.Google Scholar
- Wozney, L., Venkatesh, V., & Abrami, P. C. (2006). Implementing computer technologies: Teachers’ perceptions and practices. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 14(1), 173–207.Google Scholar
- Zimmerman, B. J. (2000). Attaining self-regulation: A social cognitive perspective. In M. Boekaerts & P. R. Pintrich (Eds.), Handbook of self-regulation (pp. 13–39). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar