Promoting Participation and Interaction

Online courses that offer opportunities for student participation and interaction are rated higher both in quality of learning and overall student satisfaction with the online experience. In planning your course, focus on finding the right balance between individual and collaborative learning. Peters and Armstrong (1998) propose three types of teaching and learning in their article “Collaborative Learning: People Laboring Together to Construct Knowledge.” All three can be carried out online to provide a mix of content and interaction:

The level and quality of participation and interaction in your online course will depend primarily on two factors:

  1. Course design – a course structured for active learning can draw in all students, even those who are shy and reluctant.
  2. Student dynamics – group dynamics differs from class to class.

Other factors that affect the amount of participation in an online course are:


How can you promote participation and interaction in your online course? Consider the following strategies from Blackboard:

Methodology Strategies

Facilitation Strategies

Communication Strategies

Create a course that is easy to navigate and provide easy access to communications tools.


Privacy Issues

The privacy of student work, discussion comments and grades is protected by law. Remember to ensure both your students' and your own privacy online.


Learn More:

Interaction and Feedback at Florida Gulf Coast University
http://www.fgcu.edu/onlinedesign/interact.html

What Makes a Successful Online Faciltator? from the Illinois Online Network
http://www.ion.uillinois.edu/resources/tutorials/pedagogy/instructorProfile.asp

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