Interaction Equivalency in Self-Paced Online Learning Environments: An Exploration of Learner Preferences

  • Jason Rhode Northern Illinois University
Keywords: Interaction, mixed methods, distance education, instructional design, self-paced, online learning, interaction equivalency, online, learning environments

Abstract

This mixed methods study explored the dynamics of interaction within a self-paced online learning environment. It used rich media and a mix of traditional and emerging asynchronous computer-mediated communication tools to determine what forms of interaction learners in a self-paced online course value most and what impact they perceive interaction to have on their overall learning experience. This study demonstrated that depending on the specific circumstance, not all forms of interaction may be either equally valued by learners or effective. Participants differentiated among the various learning interactions available and indicated that informal interactions were as important as formal interactions in determining the quality of the online learning experience. Participants also reported the activity of blogging as being equally valued and in some ways superior to instructor-directed asynchronous discussion via the discussion board in a learning management system.

Author Biography

Jason Rhode, Northern Illinois University
Assistant Director, Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center
Published
2009-02-25
How to Cite
Rhode, J. (2009). Interaction Equivalency in Self-Paced Online Learning Environments: An Exploration of Learner Preferences. The International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.19173/irrodl.v10i1.603
Section
Research Articles