Modes of Interaction in Distance Education from Anderson and Garrison, (1998). 

Modes of Interaction in Distance Education from Anderson and Garrison, (1998). 

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No topic raises more contentious debate among educators than the role of interaction as a crucial component of the education process. This debate is fueled by surface problems of definition and vested interests of professional educators, but is more deeply marked by epistemological assumptions relative to the role of humans and human interaction in...

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... topic raises more contentious debate among educators than the role of interaction as a crucial component of the education process. This debate is fueled by surface problems of definition and vested interests of professional educators, but is more deeply marked by epistemological assumptions relative to the role of humans and human interaction in education and learning. The seminal article by Daniel and Marquis (1979) challenged distance educators to get the mixture right between independent study and interactive learning strategies and activities. They quite rightly pointed out that these two primary forms of education have differing economic, pedagogical, and social characteristics, and that we are unlikely to find a “perfect” mix that meets all learner and institutional needs across all curricula and content. Nonetheless, hard decisions have to be made. Even more than in 1979, the development of newer, cost effective technologies and the nearly ubiquitous (in developed countries) Net-based telecommunications system is transforming, at least, the cost and access implications of getting the mix right. Further, developments in social cognitive based learning theories are providing increased evidence of the importance of collaborative activity as a component of all forms of education – including those delivered at a distance. Finally, the context in which distance education is developed and delivered is changing in response to the capacity of the semantic Web (Berners-Lee, 1999) to support interaction, not only amongst humans, but also between and among autonomous agents and human beings. Thus, the landscape and challenges of “getting the mix right” have not lessened in the past 25 years, and, in fact, have become even more complicated. This paper attempts to provide a theoretical rationale and guide for instructional designers and teachers interested in developing distance education systems that are both effective and efficient in meeting diverse student learning needs. Interaction has long been a defining and critical component of the educational process and context. Yet it is surprisingly difficult to find a clear and precise definition of this multifaceted concept in the education literature. In popular culture, the use of the term to describe everything from toasters to video games to holiday resorts, further confuses precise definition. I have discussed these varying definitions at greater length in an earlier document (Anderson, 2003), and so will confine discussion here to an acceptance of Wagner’s (1994) definition as “reciprocal events that require at least two objects and two actions. Interactions occur when these objects and events mutually influence one another” (p. 8). This definition departs from Daniel and Marquis’s stipulation that interaction should refer “in a restrictive manner to cover only those activities where the student is in two-way contact with another person (or persons)” (Daniel and Marquis, 1988, p. 339). As was articulated by Moore (1989), and Juler (1990), and as I too will argue, interaction between students and content has long been recognized as a critical component of both campus-based and distance education. Interaction (or its derivative term interactivity) serves a variety of functions in the educational transaction. Sims (1999) has listed these functions as allowing for learner control, facilitating program adaptation based on learner input, allowing various forms of participation and communication, and as aiding the development of meaningful learning. In addition, interactivity is fundamental to creation of the learning communities espoused by Lipman (1991), Wenger (2001), and other educational theorists who focus on the critical role of community in learning. Finally, the value of another person’s perspective, usually gained through interaction, is a key learning component in constructivist learning theories (Jonassen, 1991), and in inducing mindfulness in learners (Langer, 1989). Interaction has always been valued in education. As long ago as 1916, John Dewey referred to a form of internal interaction as the defining component of the educational process that occurs when the student transforms the inert information passed to them from another, and constructs it into knowledge with personal application and value (Dewey, 1916). Later, from a distance education perspective, Holmberg (1989) argued for the superiority of individualized interaction between student and tutor when supported by written postal correspondence or via real time telephone tutoring. Holmberg also introduced us to the idea of simulated interaction that defines the writing style appropriate for independent study models of distance education programming, which he referred to as “guided didactic interaction.” Garrison and Shale (1990) defined all forms of education (including that delivered at a distance) as essentially interactions between content, students, and teachers. Laurillard (1997) constructed an ideal conversational model of learning applicable to all forms of education in which interaction between students and teachers plays the critical role. Finally, Bates (1990) argued that interactivity should be the primary criteria for selecting media for educational delivery. Thus, there is a long history of study and recognition of the critical role of interaction in supporting and even defining education. Despite the functional definitions of interaction listed above, it still remains a challenge to define when an interaction has pedagogical or educational value. Certainly not all interactions have formal educational value as illustrated by light social conversation in a pub, or the prescribed interaction between a pilot and an air-traffic controller. However, even those two examples can be the context in which informal learning by either or both parties occurs. For the purposes of this paper, I will distinguish between interaction leading to learning in any informal context and those types of interaction that occur in a formal education context. Informal interaction can, and often does, lead to learning outside of any influence of a formal education institution or accreditation process. However, interaction in formal education contexts is specifically designed to induce learning directed towards defined and shared learning objectives or outcomes. Interaction with a teacher is often an important component of a formal learning experience. However, since both formal and informal learning can result from interaction between and amongst students alone, or as result of interaction between student and content, the participation of a teacher cannot be a defining feature of an educational interaction. Further, it is obvious that there are qualitative differences in the quality and value of interaction as a contributor to learning in both formal and informal learning contexts. To simplify the arguments presented in this paper, I have not addressed these qualitative differences, although remind the reader that all types of interaction should be assessed by their contribution to the learning process. Anderson and Garrison (1998) described the three more common types of interaction discussed in the distance education literature involving students (student-student; student-teacher; student-content), and extended the discussion to the other three types of interaction (teacher-teacher; teacher-content; content-content) as shown in Figure 1. In Anderson (2003), I discussed the various costs, benefits, and research questions associated with each of these modes of interaction. I also suggested that due to the increasing computational power and storage capacity of computers (Moore’s Law), their increase in functionality when networked (Metcalfe’s Law), and related geometric increases in a host of technical developments (Kurzweil, 1999), there is pressure and opportunity to transform student-teacher and student-student interaction into enhanced forms of student-content interaction. Further, the development of programming tools and environments will continue to make this transformation easier and, in some cases, within the technical domain of non-programming teachers and subject matter experts. However, I have not clearly articulated a theoretical basis for judging the appropriate amounts of each of the various forms of possible interaction. After years of sometimes acrimonious debate, it seems clear that there is no single medium that supports the educational experience in a manner that is superior in all ways to that supported via other media. Clark’s (1994) and Kozma’s (1994) classic debate, and the long list of “no significant difference” studies compiled by Russell (2000), give evidence to a complicated interaction between content, student preference and need, institutional capacity and preference, and teaching and learning approaches to learning. Despite the high degree of rhetoric from constructivist and feminist educational theorists of the value of interaction in creating interdependence in the learning sequence (Kirkup and von Prummer, 1990; Litzinger, Carr and Marra, 1997), there is also evidence that many students deliberately choose learning programs that allow them to minimize the amount of student-teacher and student-student interaction required (May, 2003; Kramarae, 2003). Over the years, in my own distance teaching, I have been informally polling students about the relative advantage and disadvantage of various forms of mediated and face-to-face, synchronous and asynchronous, educational activities. From these polls, I conclude that there is a wide range of need and preference for different combinations of paced and un-paced, synchronous and asynchronous activity, and also a strong desire for variety and exposure to different modes and modularities of educational provision and ...

Citations

... Ameliorating the effects of the geographic separation between students and teachers has been central to the evolution of ODDE praxis and theorization, for example, Moore's (2019) work on transactional distance, the promise of guided didactic conversation (Holmberg, 1999), getting the right mix of different elements and technologies in the design of learning experiences (Anderson, 2003), and the Community of Inquiry Framework (Garrison & Arbaugh, 2007), to mention but a few. Considering that LA and research into LA is about improving the effectiveness of teaching and learning (Gašević et al., 2015), the success of LA in informing learning design and pedagogy is one of the most important themes in LA analytics research. ...
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Data, and specifically student data, has always been an integral part of good teaching as well as providing evidence for strategic and operational planning, resource allocation, pedagogy, and student support. As Open, Distance, and Digital Education (ODDE) become increasingly datafied, institutions have access to greater volumes, variety, and granularity of student data, from more diverse sources than ever before. This provides huge opportunity for institutions, and specifically educators and course support teams, to better understand learning, and provide more appropriate and effective student support. With the emergence of learning analytics (LA) in 2011, the measurement, collection, analysis, and reporting of data about learners and their contexts, for purposes of understanding and optimizing learning and the environments in which it occurs, gained momentum, both as research focus and practice. Since then, LA have become institutionalized in many higher education institutions, mostly in residential institutions located in the Global North, and established a prolific presence in research on student learning in digitized environments. While LA has become institutionalized in the Open University (UK), it remains an emerging research focus and practice in many ODDE institutions across the world. This chapter considers the implications of LA for ODDE research and practice by first providing a brief overview of the evolution of LA, and specifically the theoretical influences in this evolution. A selection of major research findings and discourses in LA are then discussed, before the chapter is concluded with some open questions for a research agenda for LA in ODDE.
... The in-built contradiction of pursuing, on the one hand, the aim of bringing down costs through economies of scale, while on the other hand trying to achieve effectiveness (quality) through improved responsive interaction, was captured in the incompatibility theorem: More scale economies (SE) require restraint in student-teacher interaction (STI) and emphasizing STI erodes SE (Hülsmann, 2014, June, 24 The realization that online learning with higher levels of STI erodes SE cooled down the initial enthusiasm of the early promoters of a more responsive DE. Anderson had welcomed the new affordances of interaction in the paper on "big and little distance education" (Garrison & Anderson, 1999), but soon adjusted his position in "Getting the mix right" (Anderson, 2003) and, especially, in "Disruptive pedagogies" (Anderson & McGreal, 2012). ...
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Recent monetary policies of quantitative easing have produced a cognitive dissonance with the previous “there is no money” mantra and invite us to revisit our understanding of the costs and economics of distance education (DE). It turns out that study of the costs of DE was narrowly rooted in neoclassical microeconomics. Consequently, DE has focused on driving down costs and devolving costs to the students, thereby contributing to increasing student debt. The chapter summarizes the efficiency gains of traditional DE and their changes due to the emerging affordances of information and communication technologies (ICT). The chapter also notes changes in the “macroeconomic weather conditions,” which have led to regarding education less as means to raise productivity than as a center for profit itself. As a consequence, cost efficiency gains have often not been handed to the learner, leading to rises in tuition fees and, consequently, student debt. The second half of the chapter introduces modern money theory (MMT), a different economic paradigm, which suggests that monetary sovereign countries have enough policy space not to focus narrowly on driving down costs. It notably suggests that devolving costs to students turns out, from the MMT perspective, to be misguided. It identifies a policy space which can be used to build in additional resilience, especially required in times of crises.
... As we moved toward online learning, the nature of learner support did undergo considerable changes. Analyzing the types and nature of interaction in learnerlearner, learner-content, and learner-instructor interaction, Anderson (2003) emphasized that while the issues of availability and access to technology as also faculty time need to be addressed, learner support is required to be designed for all three types of interaction in online learning (synchronous as well as asynchronous). Since in online learning there is possibility of simultaneous cocreation of content by students and instructors, learner support cuts across learning resources and learning support; needs to be conceptualized in an individualized, interactive, and crossfunctional framework; and should be organized before, during, and after the learning process (Thorpe, 2003). ...
... At the same time, interaction also needs to be built into independent study of self-learning resources. This is clearly supported by the equivalency theory of Anderson (2003) that, given the three types of interaction (learner-content, learner-teacher, and learner-learner), "an instructional designer can substitute one type of interaction for one of the others (at the same level) with little loss in educational experiences" (p4). Even the student-teacher interaction can be minimized (with reduction in cost) and quality of learning maintained, in consideration of a variety of types and mixes of interaction that Anderson (2003) articulated. ...
... This is clearly supported by the equivalency theory of Anderson (2003) that, given the three types of interaction (learner-content, learner-teacher, and learner-learner), "an instructional designer can substitute one type of interaction for one of the others (at the same level) with little loss in educational experiences" (p4). Even the student-teacher interaction can be minimized (with reduction in cost) and quality of learning maintained, in consideration of a variety of types and mixes of interaction that Anderson (2003) articulated. ...
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With changing scenarios in globalization, technologization, and conception of twenty-first-century learners and learning, distance teaching institutions are also gradually changing their delivery strategies and learner support systems. This is more visible in the following: from separation of course design and learner support to both forming an integral part of blended teaching-learning; from physical and geography-based operation to more technology-enabled networked operation; from largely behaviorist model to more of constructivist and connectivist models of course design and learner support; and from a humanistic support system to more of strategic support system. In these changing scenarios, however, the changes in academic practices have not kept pace with technology changes; and technology and market, rather than the scholarship of teaching and support, dominate the support discourse and practice. These developments raise various research questions which need to be investigated further. The analysis in the chapter shows that the future of distance and online learning vis-à-vis learner support is poised to shift from the “course material-tutoring” system to the “networked-interactive-intelligent” system, though both will continue for quite some time to come. Institutional leaders, faculty, and other stakeholders need to engage with further articulation and reflection toward evolving a quality, productive, pedagogy-led, and learner-friendly support system.
... Uzaktan eğitim sürecinde eğitimci bilgi aktarandan çok rehber konumunda olduğu için iş birlikçi, bireysel ve aktif öğrenmeye odaklanır. Uzaktan eğitim sürecinde öğrenci ise bilgiyi yapılandırmak için bireysel olarak kendi kendine çalışma sistemini oluşturmalı ve bu süreçte aktif bir konumda olmalıdır (Anderson, 2003;Gökmen, Duman ve Horzum, 2016). Öğretmen ve öğrenci özelliklerine bakıldığında uzaktan eğitim uygulamalarında eğitim sistemi yeniden yapılandırılmalıdır. ...
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Bu araştırmanın amacı, okul öncesi öğretmen adaylarının uzaktan eğitime ilişkin değerlendirmelerini ortaya koymaktır. Araştırma, nitel araştırma yöntemlerinden durum çalışması ile gerçekleştirilmiştir. Araştırmanın çalışma grubunu Eskişehir Osmangazi Üniversitesi Okul Öncesi Öğretmenliği Lisans Programı öğrencileri oluşturmaktadır. Çalışma grubu, amaçlı örnekleme yöntemlerinden benzeşik örnekleme yöntemi kullanılarak oluşturulmuştur ve araştırmaya 100 okul öncesi öğretmen adayı katılmıştır. Araştırmanın verileri yarı yapılandırılmış görüşme ile toplanmış ve MAXQDA 2020 programı ile analiz edilmiştir. Araştırmada uzaktan eğitim sürecinde yaşanılan problemler, uzaktan eğitimde fayda sağlanan noktalar, uzaktan eğitimin alan derslerine etkisi, uzaktan eğitime ilişkin düşüncelerin değişimi, uzaktan eğitimin akran etkileşimine etkisi belirlenmeye çalışılmıştır. Okul öncesi öğretmen adaylarının uzaktan eğitim sürecinde genel olarak zorlandıkları, özellikle uygulamalı derslere katılımı olumsuz olarak değerlendirdikleri fakat bu süreçte ekonomik fayda sağladıkları sonucuna ulaşılmıştır.
... While Hrastinski describes the communication between students, Anderson [46] has developed an equivalency theorem for communication in distance learning saying: "Deep and meaningful formal learning is supported as long as one of the three forms of interaction (studentteacher; student-student; student-content) is at a high level. The other two may be offered at minimal levels, or even eliminated, without degrading the educational experience. ...
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To investigate how physics students perceived the sudden shift to online learning at the beginning of COVID-19 pandemic, 18 semistructured interviews were conducted with university students in Austria, Croatia, and Germany. Based on the interviews, a questionnaire was developed and data from N=578 physics students from five universities in Germany, Austria, and Croatia were gathered. In this paper, we report how students perceived synchronous and asynchronous physics lessons, how their perception correlates with their self-organization skills, which activities and teaching methods were perceived as helpful, and what are the implications for future physics courses. The most common advantages of synchronous course elements reported by students were the possibility to immediately ask questions, the feeling of community and interaction with other students, and the defined daily structure, whereas the most common advantages of asynchronous course elements reported were flexible time management and the possibility to watch videos at their own pace. The data indicate a correlation between preference for synchronous courses and their general self-organization, so instructors should be aware of this connection when planning future courses. Face-to-face lectures at university were perceived as the most helpful course element, followed by the recorded lectures from the instructor and the group work on the assignments, projects, and problems with other students. Furthermore, our results suggest that most students would in the future like to preserve the upload of learning materials and recorded video of the lectures in addition to classroom lectures. Overall, the results of this study suggest that both synchronous and asynchronous course elements should be combined in future online and in-person physics courses.
... The first regards the low interaction within the NFF approach. Croxton found that purposefully designed and engaging interaction tasks played a significant role in learner persistence in online courses [23], where interaction is not only between learners and teachers but also between learners and learners and content [24]. ...
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Background Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) education requires that learners practice key skills to promote mastery. Our aim in this study was to evaluate differences in post-education performance and class participation during CPR training between face-to- face (FF) and non-face-to-face (NFF) learning formats. Methods This was a randomized controlled study of third-year medical students from two university hospital, allocated to either the FF or NFF format for CPR education. The learning scenario addressed single-person CPR, consisting of chest compression only, and excluded breathing. The Kahoot! application was used for NFF. Between-group comparisons for class participation and CPR skills were based on video recordings. Results Seventy students participated in our study, with 35 randomly allocated to the FF and NFF groups. There were no between-group differences in terms of age, sex, previous basic life support training, and willingness and confidence in performing CPR. Compared to the FF group, the NFF group demonstrated significant differences during CPR, including fewer calling for assistance and using of defibrillator (p = 0.006), as well as fewer checking for breathing (p = 0.007), and fewer counting during chest compression (p = 0.006). Additionally, < 30% of learners in the NFF group completed rhythm analysis after the last defibrillator shock delivery and resumed immediate chest compression (p < 0.001). All students in both groups passed the post-training assessment. Conclusion Class participation in NFF learning was lower than that in FF learning. Although the post-education evaluation in the NFF group was not inferior, efforts on promoting active participation in NFF learning are required.
... Moreover, teacher-student interaction was one of the most direct positive factors influencing students' online experience [36]. At the same time, immediate feedback from the teacher was vital to students' online course performance [37]. Our research findings are consistent with the constructivist learning theory [38], which shows that learning activities are a process for students to achieve meaningful construction of knowledge through collaboration and conversation between teachers and classmates in certain scenarios. ...
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... Therefore, self-regulation was included as a variable in this study. Another variable examined in the study is interaction level among the participants since interaction is one of the important factors that directly affect the quality of online learning and students' satisfaction and success (Garner & Bol, 2011;Anderson, 2003;Cheng & Chau, 2016). Also, in the study conducted by Li and Yang (2021), it is proposed that in the flipped classroom approach, the interaction enables students to develop their SRS and a positive attitude towards the flipped learning approach. ...
... As in face-to-face environments, interaction is also critical in technology-based learning environments in online learning environments (Simpson & Anderson, 2012;Moore & Kearsley, 2005) since interaction is an important element for creating an effective learning environment (Anderson 2003;Hiltz & Goldman, 2005;Lou et al., 2006). Students consider learning environments that allow high interaction more enjoyable (Holmes & Benders, 2012). ...
Article
A quasi-experimental design was employed to examine the effects of flipped classroom approach on students’ academic achievement, self-regulation skills, and interaction level in synchronous distance education. The participants consisted of 50 undergraduate students. In an online synchronous course, the Zoom application and its breakout rooms were used. For ten weeks, students were asked to attend the course two times each week. For data collection, learning achievement test, online self-regulation scale, and online course interaction level determination scale were administered. The results revealed that while flipped classroom approach in an online synchronous course positively influenced students’ self-regulation skills and the interaction level, it did not affect students’ learning achievement.
... (p. 100) Subsequent work by Anderson (2003) articulating the equivalency of interaction theorem provided a roadmap for teachers (as designers) trying to make decisions about which type of interactions to focus on providing to ensure quality learning. ...
... High levels of more than one of these three modes will likely provide a more satisfying educational experience, though these experiences may not be as cost or time effective as less interactive learning sequences. (Anderson, 2003) To summarise thus far, it appears that the design and delivery of quality MOOC learning experiences comes down to making decisions about when, where, and what kind of interactions learners need to be able to meaningfully engage in. The following segment describes how the TELMOOC design and delivery team addressed three modes of interaction (Anderson & Garrison, 1998) that relate directly to student engagement: learner-content, learner-learner, and learner-teacher interactions. ...
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... According to [1], exploring the environment requires two essential processes: perception, which relies on sensory functioning, and action, which depends on motor control. The theory of embodied cognition also places great importance on the sensorimotor exploration of the environment for the development of the child [2]. Its proponents argue that the development of different cognitive processes such as conceptualization, categorization, and ideation is possible through sensorimotor exploration of the surrounding world. ...