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Sunday, 26 November 2017 17:16

The Importance of Interactivity in electronic distance learning programs

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The role of interactivity

Although e-learning programs are able to overcome the geographical constraints that arise in the conventional class, it also creates uncertainty amongst the learners about the quality and frequency of the interaction they enjoy (Borup, West & Graham, 2012) . In distance learning, feedback is categorized into feedback between learner - content, trainer - content, learner - technology, trainees - trainees (Chou, Peng & Chang; 2010). Interaction between teachers, pupils and content is a vital factor in achieving learning objectives (Wei, Peng & Chou, 2014).
According to Yung-Ming (2013), factors influencing the perception of interaction experienced by users are mainly about controlling the content, the sequence of communication, the speed and consistency of the responses they receive and the personalization of responses - feedback they receive on their questions and dids. These factors influence the endogenous motivation of users, the perception of the ease of use of the program as well as the use of the framework for improving web-based e-learning interactivity (2016). Indeed, the importance of perception of ease of use and feedback is found to irredeemably affect student performance in e-learning programs (Wei, Peng & Chou, 2014).
Interaction needs to be reinforced by concrete practices that will satisfy the need and the insecurity of trainees. In order to facilitate distance learning, teachers use electronic platforms such as Moodle and Blackboard, which support the management of online courses and activities while enhancing student exposure to the teaching subject (Wei, Peng & Chou, 2014). In these learning platforms it is imperative that users enter at a high frequency as it has been observed that their interaction with other participants, teachers and pupils (Wei, Peng & Chou, 2014) is enhanced. Educators play a key role in engaging students with other participants in a modern and asynchronous way, encouraging them to respond to their questions by creating a learning community that will provide learners with equal opportunities for communication such as live lessons and interaction in the virtual environment (Maboe, 2017). At the end of the course, the teacher should be able to develop with the students an asynchronous communication and manage it in the appropriate way so that the learning community can engage in discussions on the topic to be debated (Maboe, 2017). In conclusion, substantial technical assistance should be provided to difficulties that may arise due to lack of the necessary technological knowledge and to ensure the smooth operation of the system throughout the program (Maboe, 2017)

Bibliography

Borup, J., West, R.E. & Graham, C.R. (2012), Improving online social presence through asynchronous video. The Internet and Higher Education, 55(3), 195-203.

Chou, C., Peng, H. Y. & Chang, C. Y. (2010). The technical framework of interactive functions for course-management systems: students' perceptions, uses, and evaluations. Computers & Education, 55(3), 1004-1017.

Framework for improving web based e-learning interactivity. (2016). 2016 24th Telecommunications Forum (TELFOR), Telecommunications Forum (TELFOR), 2016 24th, 1. doi:10.1109/TELFOR.2016.7818925

Maboe, K. A. (2017). Full Length Article: Use of online interactive tools in an open distance learning context: Health studies students' perspective. Health SA Gesondheid, 22221-227. doi:10.1016/j.hsag.2017.02.001

Wei, H., Peng, H., & Chou, C. (2015). Can more interactivity improve learning achievement in an online course? Effects of college students' perception and actual use of a course-management system on their learning achievement. Computers & Education, 8310-21. doi:10.1016/j.compedu.2014.12.013

Yung-Ming, C. (2014). Roles of interactivity and usage experience in e-learning acceptance: a longitudinal study. International Journal Of Web Information Systems, (1), 2. doi:10.1108/IJWIS-05-2013-0015

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