Yungwei Hao, Min Liu
Acdemic exchange - Winter 2006
This interesting article set to discover attitudes towards four types on online interactions of online learners, namely: instructional, affective, collaborative and vicarious.
The article explored the importance of interaction and its effects on successful online learning experiences. Interactive online learning environments seem to be more learner-centered.
After defining the types of interaction, the article provides the parameters of the study. Even though a relatively small sample was used for the study, certain discussion points seem to emerge that are worth considering:
- learners tend to have more positive attitudes towards the types of interactions that give them specific and timely feedback or information about tasks and content.
- secondly they prefer emotional engagement and support.
- collaborative interaction was third on the list - this seems to suggest that online course can occur with few collaborative tasks to be completed, and still remain satisfactory as learning experiences.
- students' attitudes determined course satisfaction - the higher they were at the beginning of the course and the closer they were met the higher the overall satisfaction was with the experience.
This study seems to suggest that students' attitudes could at least be uncovered at the beginning of the course to predict, to a certain level, how students' experience with the online course could be.