Interaction and e-learning: the student experience

Thorpe, Mary and Godwin, Steve (2006). Interaction and e-learning: the student experience. Studies in Continuing Education, 28(3) pp. 203–221.



A distinction between interpersonal and content interaction was identified in the literature, and applied in research undertaken on a selection of 36 courses. These courses differed in both the kinds of interaction offered and its integration in the teaching and assessment. They included different combinations and use of conferencing, email, interactive software and the Internet. Student comments on their perceptions of the positive and negative contributions of these computer-mediated elements are presented. The perceived benefits of interpersonal and content interaction are distinctive, and both can also have negative effects. Students value content interaction and interpersonal interaction for different reasons, and it is not helpful to privilege one form of interaction over another.

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