This article discusses the question of interaction in corporate e-learning. I will define the three kinds of interaction in Moore’s model, explain the value of interactivity in learning, evaluate the benefits and limitations of using interactions, discuss the differences and similarities among learning through computers, learning from computers and learning with computers. Interaction takes on distinctive meanings in different contexts. Interaction is found in computer games, e-commerce sites, user-interface designs, online media, and education. Users have experienced interactions that set their expectations and definitions. The different experiences create challenges for instructional design experts because they muddy the definition and establish expectations regarding interactions that may not have direct transference to interactive online learning.
Key Terms in this Chapter
E-Learning: E-Learning is defined by the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council in the UK (http://www.odlqc.org.uk/odlqc/n19-e.htm) as “the effective learning process created by combining digitally delivered content with (learning) support and services.”
Mindtools: Computer applications that, when used by learners to represent what they know, necessarily engage them in critical thinking about the content they are studying.
Computer-Based Training: Computer-based training is a type of education in which the student learns by executing special training programs on a computer.
Constructivism: Constructivism (learning theory) holds that knowledge is not transmitted unchanged from teacher to student, but instead that learning is an active process of recreating knowledge.
Computer-Mediated Communication: Computer-mediated communication (CMC) is any form of communication between two or more individual people who interact and/or influence each other via separate computers through the Internet or a network connection—using social software. CMC does not include the methods by which two computers communicate, but rather how people communicate via computers.
Behaviorism: Behaviorism is a theory of human learning that only focuses on objectively observable behaviors and discounts mental activities. Behavior theorists define learning as nothing more than the acquisition of new behavior.
Instructional Design: Instructional design, also known as instructional systems design, is the analysis of learning needs and systematic development of instruction. Instructional designers often use instructional technology as a method for developing instruction. Instructional design models typically specify a method, that if followed will facilitate the transfer of knowledge, skills and attitude to the recipient or acquirer of the instruction.
Interaction: A reciprocal exchange between the technology and the learner.