Online Interaction Styles: Adapting to Active Interaction Styles

Online Interaction Styles: Adapting to Active Interaction Styles

Dazhi Yang (Purdue University, USA) and Jennifer C. Richardson (Purdue University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-788-1.ch008
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Past studies indicate that students demonstrate different online interaction styles, which consist of the ways or habits students acquire knowledge from computer-mediated discussions (Sutton, 2001). Such interaction styles include the active interaction style (Beaudion, 2002), the vicarious interaction style (Sutton, 2001), and the mixed or balanced-interaction style. The purposes of this chapter are to: (1) examine relative studies on students’ online interaction styles; (2) propose a hypothesis that students’ online interaction styles can change during the course of computer-mediated discussion; (3) conduct a case study on students’ online interaction styles to test the hypothesis. This chapter reviews current issues related to students’ online interaction styles. It offers practical suggestions on the design of online learning environments, instructor’s role in online courses, and educational tools to facilitate students in adapting to more active interaction styles in computer-mediated learning environments.
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Online and distance learning has exploded exponentially around the globe. In North America, there are fully online universities (e.g. the University of Phoenix and Capella University) and degrees offered completely online at Drexel University Online and Athabasca University. Similarly, in Asia, there are the Open University of Malaysia and India’s Indira Gandhi National Open University. Although the emergence of Web 2.0 technologies such as MySpace and Blogger greatly facilitates this wave of online and distance learning, questions about pedagogical value and methods of effectively integrating such technologies have also emerged (Bonk, 2009). In addition, due to access and type of security issues involved (Evers, 2006), online instructors have yet to find a way to fully adopt these technologies. Therefore, it is not surprising that asynchronous online discussions, which are usually mediated or assisted by computers, is still a common pedagogical practice in online courses (McLoughlin & Luca, 2000; Swan, Schenker, Arnold, & Kuo, 2007). As for asynchronous online discussions, research shows that when they are appropriately implemented, asynchronous computer-mediated discussions can increase knowledge and understanding of course materials (Brown, Smyth, & Mainka, 2006; Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2001).

In asynchronous computer-mediated discussions, students can discuss and reflect on course materials and post their ideas and thoughts within a course management system or tool, such as Moodle or Blackboard. Students are also usually required to respond to their peers’ postings. During such discussions, students display different online interaction styles, which are defined as the ways or habits students acquire knowledge from the discussions (Sutton, 2001). For instance, some students are constantly participating or posting more than the course requires, which allows them to be categorized, as Sutton defines, as active interaction style learners (Sutton, 2001). Some are actively observing and processing both sides of the interaction from others (peers and the instructor) without direct participation in the discussions and are known as vicarious interaction style learners (Sutton, 2001). Furthermore, according to the authors’ online teaching and discussion facilitation experiences, another group of learners also exists, who may not fixed in the active or passive mode, whom we refer to as the mixed or balanced-interaction style learners. For students categorized within the mixed or balanced-interaction style, their levels of effort in computer-mediated discussions are approximately equal to the minimum amount of postings required by a course.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Learning Preferences: Students’ preference for instructional delivery modes such as traditional face-to-face, online, or blended learning or the way to interact with content, their peers, and their instructor in online learning environments.

Active Interaction Style: Students’ participation or posting are constantly more than the course requires for each week and each discussion topic.

Vicarious Learning: Learning from observing others and reading postings without direct interaction.

Online Learning Styles: The cognitive, affective, and psychological traits that students reveal when interacting with, perceiving, and responding to others in online environments.

Vicarious Interaction Style: Students’ active observation and processing both sides of the interaction from others (peers and the instructor) without direct participation in discussions.

Mixed or Balance Interaction Style: Students’ participation in online discussion is approximately equal to the minimum course requirement; they are not fixed in active or passive mode in terms of their participation in online discussions.

Computer-Mediated Discussions: Discussions and reflections on course materials posted within a course management system or tool, such as Moodle or Blackboard.

Online Interaction Styles: The ways or habits students interact with the content, peers, and their instructor and acquire knowledge from asynchronous online discussions.

Complete Chapter List

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List of Reviewers
Table of Contents
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Harrison Hao Yang, Steve Chi-Yin Yuen
Chapter 1
Chien Yu, Wei-Chieh Wayne Yu, Chun Fu Lin
Dramatic changes in information and communication technologies (ICTs) provide a powerful force forthe growth of e-learning. E-learning has become... Sample PDF
Computer-Mediated Learning: What Have We Experienced and Where Do We Go Next?
Chapter 2
Clara Pereira Coutinho, João Batista Bottentuit Jr.
In this chapter the authors analyze issues and ideas regarding the next generation of e-Learning, which is already known as e-Learning 2.0 or social... Sample PDF
From Web to Web 2.0 and E-Learning 2.0
Chapter 3
Chaka Chaka
This chapter contends that both Web 2.0 and the Semantic Web (the SW) serve as critical enablers for e-learning 2.0. It also maintains that the SW... Sample PDF
E-Learning 2.0: Web 2.0, the Semantic Web and the Power of Collective Intelligence
Chapter 4
Jianxia Du, Yunyan Liu, Robert L. Brown
An online learning community can be a place for vibrant discussions and the sharing of new ideas in a medium where content constantly changes. This... Sample PDF
The Key Elements of Online Learning Communities
Chapter 5
Ke Zhang, Curtis J. Bonk
This chapter reviews the characteristics of learners of different generations. In particular, it compares their differences in terms of learning... Sample PDF
Generational Learners & E-Learning Technologies
Chapter 6
Robin M. Roberts
The relationship between the Digital or Millennium Generation and Web 2.0 is investigated focusing on how post-secondary students just entering... Sample PDF
The Digital Generation and Web 2.0: E-Learning Concern or Media Myth?
Chapter 7
Jeffrey Hsu, Karin Hamilton
Adult learners have a set of specific and unique needs, and are different from traditional college students. Possessing greater maturity, interest... Sample PDF
Adult Learners, E-Learning, and Success: Critical Issues and Challenges in an Adult Hybrid Distance Learning Program
Chapter 8
Dazhi Yang, Jennifer C. Richardson
Past studies indicate that students demonstrate different online interaction styles, which consist of the ways or habits students acquire knowledge... Sample PDF
Online Interaction Styles: Adapting to Active Interaction Styles
Chapter 9
Yuliang Liu
Learner satisfaction and learning is currently a very important topic in online instruction and learning. Blignaut and Trollip (2003) proposed six... Sample PDF
Strategies for Providing Formative Feedback to Maximize Learner Satisfaction and Online Learning
Chapter 10
Bo Kyeong Kim, Youngkyun Baek
Web 2.0 is changing the paradigm of using the Internet which is affecting the e-learning paradigm. In this chapter, e-learning 2.0 and its... Sample PDF
Exploring Ideas and Possibilities of Second Life as an Advanced E-Learning Environment
Chapter 11
Jeannine Hirtle, Samuel Smith
Communities of practice (CoP’s)—much touted and studied as a mechanism for teacher education and professional development—may offer environments for... Sample PDF
When Virtual Communities Click: Transforming Teacher Practice, Transforming Teachers
Chapter 12
Luiz Fernando de Barros Campos
This chapter investigates whether information technology tools typical of Web 2.0 can support Knowledge Management (KM) practices in organizations.... Sample PDF
Could Web 2.0 Technologies Support Knowledge Management in Organizations?
Chapter 13
Colleen Carmean
Anytime and all-the-time access to electronic resources, artifacts and community have changed learning practices in the workplace as surely as it... Sample PDF
E-Learning Design for the Information Workplace
Chapter 14
Paraskevi Mentzelou, Dimitrios Drogidis
The aims of Greek education system is to give to students the ability to develop the required skills, character and values that will enable them to... Sample PDF
The Impact of Information Communication Technology (ICT) to the Greek Educational Community
Chapter 15
Richard Hartshorne, Haya Ajjan, Richard E. Ferdig
In this chapter, the authors provide evidence for the potential of various Web 2.0 applications in higher education through a review of relevant... Sample PDF
Faculty Use and Perceptions of Web 2.0 in Higher Education
Chapter 16
Susanne Markgren, Carrie Eastman, Leah Massar Bloom
In this chapter, the authors explore the role of academic librarians in the e-learning 2.0 environment. Librarians are excellent partners in... Sample PDF
Librarian as Collaborator: Bringing E-Learning 2.0 Into the Classroom by Way of the Library
Chapter 17
Betül C. Özkan
Because of the ways students learn and make sense of world change, higher education institutions try to re-conceptualize this change process and... Sample PDF
Implementing E-Learning in University 2.0: Are Universities Ready for the Digital Age?
Chapter 18
Hsiu-Ting Hung
The focus of the chapter is two-fold: on one hand, it seeks theoretical understanding of literacy as social practice; on the other hand, it explores... Sample PDF
New Literacies in New Times: A Multimodal Approach to Literacy Learning
Chapter 19
Rajani S. Sadasivam, Katie M. Crenshaw, Michael J. Schoen, Raju V. Datla
The e-learning 2.0 transformation of continuing education of healthcare professionals (CE/CME) will be characterized by a fundamental shift from the... Sample PDF
Transforming Continuing Healthcare Education with E-Learning 2.0
Chapter 20
Brian Smith, Peter Reed
The excitement of Web 2.0 and E-learning 2.0 is upon us. As the use of social networking sites and other Web 2.0 tools continue to increase... Sample PDF
Mode Neutral: The Pedagogy that Bridges Web 2.0 and e-Learning 2.0
Chapter 21
F. R. Nordengren, Ann M. York
This chapter is a practical overview of both the theoretical, evidence-based research in pedagogy and the anecdotal, experience-based practices of... Sample PDF
Dispatches from the Graduate Classroom: Bringing Theory and Practice to E-Learning
Chapter 22
Kathryn Kennedy, Jeff Boyer, Catherine Cavanaugh, Kara Dawson
Using the theoretical framework of “craft” highlighted by Richard Sennett (2008) in The Craftsman, this chapter focuses on constructionism and the... Sample PDF
Student-Centered Teaching with Constructionist Technology Tools: Preparing 21st Century Teachers
Chapter 23
Clara Pereira Coutinho
In this chapter the author presents the results of a project developed in pre-service and in-service teacher education programs at the Minho... Sample PDF
Challenges for Teacher Education in the Learning Society: Case Studies of Promising Practice
Chapter 24
Pearl Chen
This chapter reviews the current state of theory and practice of experience design and suggests that the notion of experience should be regarded as... Sample PDF
From Memorable to Transformative E-Learning Experiences: Theory and Practice of Experience Design
Chapter 25
Carl Scott, Youmei Liu, Madhuri Kumar
This chapter will examine the relationship between a constructivist teaching approach and online learning experiences in the Virtual Worlds of... Sample PDF
Authentic Learning in Second Life: A Constructivist Model in Course Design
Chapter 26
C. Candace Chou
This study explores student views of various E-Learning tools as teaching and learning media in an online course for pre-service and in-service... Sample PDF
Student Perceptions and Pedagogical Applications of E-Learning Tools in Online Course
Chapter 27
Steve Chi-Yin Yuen, Harrison Hao Yang
Enhancing the substantial interaction in e-learning courses can be a challenge to instructors. The chapter gave an overview of online interaction... Sample PDF
Using Blogfolios to Enhance Interaction in E-Learning Courses
Chapter 28
Priti Srinivas Sajja
Quality of an e-Learning solution depends on its content, services offered by it and technology used. To increase reusability of common learning... Sample PDF
Multi-Tier Knowledge-Based System Accessing Learning Object Repository Using Fuzzy XML
Chapter 29
Ivan Angelov, Sathish Menon, Michael Douma
This chapter outlines central findings from surveys that considered factors that drive online experience as expressed by the three different groups... Sample PDF
Finding Information: Factors that Improve Online Experiences
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