Extract from Issue#27 of Teaching Tuesdays@CSU
All issues of Teaching Tuesdays can be accessed through the folder at this link
Online Learning Model: Interaction Between Students
CSU Division of Learning & Teaching
Student learning is enhanced through online peer learning activities, facilitated by an online teacher, supporting the development of learning outcomes.
Bernard and Rubalcava (2000) ask us to consider the learner characteristics and the learning context in the design of online collaborative learning activities if potential benefits are to be realised.
Well-designed cooperative and collaborative learning strategies can lead to substantial learning benefits in both school and university contexts (Johnson, Johnson, & Smith, 1998; Slavin, 1996; Hattie, 2008).
Kreijns et al. (2002) suggest that social interaction facilitated by computer supported cooperative learning has the capacity to encourage shared understanding, critical thinking and the social construction of knowledge.
Activities that promote interaction embedded in your modules as part of the learning process should have a clear purpose that relates to the learning outcomes. These could be as simple as providing the opportunity for students to introduce themselves on the discussion board or providing peer feedback through tools such as Peerwise.
What are some of the strategies that might be considered?*
Asynchronous Discussions – Discussions that can utilise online technologies and take place without students having to be present at the same time.
Collaborative Group Projects – Students work together to achieve a shared goal.
Collaborative Study Groups – Groups of students working together to learn and study.
Peer Commenting – Students review, comment and critique each other’s work.
Reflective Journals – Students develop the ability to express and assess their own learning & experience.
Using Media for Conversations – Take advantage of new technologies to enable rich conversations with students
* The links in this section will take you to CSULX, the Online Learning Exchange, where you will find an overview of the strategy, benefits for learning and teaching, examples in practice, guides and tools for implementation and links to further resources.
The right tools will help you to implement these strategies into your own teaching. Here are just some to explore. Try to select a mix of synchronous and asynchronous tools.
Some available tools include:
Purposeful interaction using Interact2 Blog; Discussion Board
Social networking tools Facebook and Twitter
References available from CSU Library
Bernard, R. M., & Rubalcava, B. (2000). Collaborative online distance learning: Issues for future practices and research. Distance Education, 21(2), 260-277.
Hattie, J. (2008). Visible learning: A synthesis of over 800 meta-analyses relating to achievement. Oxon, UK: Routledge.
Johnson, D. W., Johnson, R. T., & Smith, K.A. (1998). Cooperative learning returns to college: What evidence is there that it works? Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, 30(4), 26-35.
Kreijns, K., Kirschner, P. A., & Jochems, W. (2002). The sociability of computer-supported collaborative learning environments. Educational Technology & Society, 5(1), 1-21.
Moore, M. G. (1989). Editorial: Three types of interaction. American Journal of Distance Education, 3(2), 1-7. doi:10.1080/08923648909526659
Slavin, R. E. (1996). Research on cooperative learning and achievement: What we know, what we need to know. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 21(1), 43-69. doi:10.1006/ceps.1996.0004