Sunday, March 29, 2009

Blog 6

My thoughts regarding the facilitation of interaction in the online learning environment

Students have a variety of learning modes. Primary to some elementary age students usually learn best with learner-instructor interaction because they need the concept modeled and taught using the proper techniques. By upper elementary, students should have the precepts to teach and work together by modeling concepts with the instructor observing, ready to step in if necessary in order to correct a misunderstanding before it is set and has to be re-taught. From Jr. High to adult, students should have the principles to read information and discern it or glean pieces of it in order to share with others and formulate a consensus as in learner-learner as long as they have a foundation from which to build. While it is easier and really better by having the instructor to help, some students can learn without the instructor close by. I prefer to have my instructor near in this course because my confidence level is still low in some areas.

Have I taken an online course that incorporated the three types of interactions?

This is my second course in which we do not meet weekly, but I‘ve never taken a class totally online. Every graduate class I have taken at Texas A & M has had an array of all three interactions.

Are these classes effective in facilitating online instruction?

Yes, I think both Dr. Wade Fish and Dr. McElhany are effective in facilitating online instruction. In class, the instructor answers direct questions and then allows the student to delve into self discovery in order that I will retain information longer.

Discuss my thoughts based on the information in the article on the three types of interaction. How does the concept of facilitating interaction in an online course align with my educational technology philosophy?

A good learning environment needs all three types of interaction. When students need an introduction to the material, learner-instructor interaction is probably best used because new information must be modeled. When students have some foundation present, learner-learner interaction is probably best because sometimes students can teach each other concepts better than the instructor (slightly different format). Learner-content is mainly for the elite group who can ascertain information with an inquisitive drive and won’t settle for much less than perfection or for those who don’t have another choice. I prefer to have my instructor present or at least an email away when I am “stuck in a rut and need to be pulled out”. I have found it most helpful when notations are given so that I may correct mistakes and hopefully learn from them.

1 comment:

  1. A great response and you used the terminology/concepts so well in your posting (learner-learner, learner-content, learner-instructor). I do believe the intersection of these three spheres makes for the most meaningful learning which seems to be supported by your examples of the courses you have taken...they've been hybrid type courses. Online courses can be more difficult for faculty/teachers to incorporate all three types of interactions...yet ALL are needed to create meaningful learning. So much to keep in mind when teaching and designing an online course.