Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Interacting and interactions

Understanding the changing dynamics of interaction. Moore (1989) mentioned three key types, (1) student to instructor, (2) student to content, and (3) student to student. There is now a fourth type of interaction, student to common digital device. The common digital device is more than a vehicle for content, it is more than a means to create content, it is the digital learning assistant – this device links students with content, students and the instructor simultaneously. Real-time conversations, desktop sharing and collaboration are now the commonplace instead of the exception. With the changes in interactions, teaching has to radically shift and change as well. Students are likely to interact with and through common digital devices – at all times. No longer can we presume that students will dutifully set in a classroom and take notes – students will be fact-checking course content, finding additional as well as alternative content. We need to engage students WHERE they are, not where WE want them to be.

Interacting with students allows time for feedback, focuses time on learning, and clearly communicates the expectations of the instructor AND for the student (Chickering and Gamson, 1987). Incorporating the common digital device, feedback can be instantaneous, as well as anytime and anyplace. The common digital device promotes and encourages learning EVERYWHERE. No longer is learning limited to a particular space, at a particular time. Learning occurs where the students ARE. The nature of interaction is changing. Learners are more ENGAGED with learning because of these common digital devices.

Interaction now includes (1) portable technology, (2) fluid teaching, and (3) a desire to use the new, common digital device to teach and learn anywhere, anyplace, and anytime.

Chickering, A. W., and Gamson, Z. F. (1987) “Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education.” American Association of Higher Education Bulletin, Volume 39, Number 7. [WWW document] URL http://www.aahea.org/bulletins/articles/sevenprinciples1987.htm (Visited December 21, 2010)

Moore, M. G. (1989) “Three types of interaction.” The American Journal of Distance Education, Volume 3, Number 2. [WWW document] URL http://www.ajde.com/Contents/vol3_2.htm#editorial (Visited December 21, 2010)

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