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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Interaction in Distance Learning

Interaction in Distance Learning
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Author(s): Mary Bold (Bold Productions, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch178


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Interaction refers to the exchange of information between and among individuals in a distance learning (DL) environment, encompassing exchanges for students, instructors, and technology staff. Research has begun to distinguish between interactivity (provided by technology) and interaction (the behaviors among the humans), with the former making the latter possible (Roblyer & Ekhaml, 2000). One assumption about interactivity is that it is beneficial to learning (Sims, 2003) although its impact is complex due to variable factors such as maturity of the technology, learning curve for the technology, response time to messages or exchanges, group composition, and so forth. In fact, it is suggested that high levels of interactivity may create cognitive stress for some students (van Merrienboer & Ayres, 2005).

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