2.3 Interaction between Learners and Instructional
2.3.1 Provide time
and opportunity for learners to practice and master the skills that
are necessary to participate in the electronic discussion.
A. Interaction between
learners and instructional materials can take the form of online
conferences, email attachments, and chats.
an on-campus orientation to the course is held, students can practice
these skills in a computer lab.
C. A self-assessment tool that is online can help learners determine if they are prepared to take an online course.
should utilize practice assignments during the first week
or two that allow students to use distance learning strategies
that will be used in the course. If electronic conferencing
is being used as an integral part of the course and is designed
to be a vehicle of interactivity, then the instructor must
be ensure that students are able to use this tool correctly.
As well as face-to-face practice
in a campus computer lab, students need to practice skills
from the computer that they will be utilizing for the online
course. This allows the student to determine whether the computer
has the necessary software, plug-ins, and internet service
connection to succeed in the course. A distance
learning self-readiness assessment is available to help
2.3.2 Provide all
participants with access to online tutorials and support services.
A. Tutorials and support services are provided to help students
use interactive distance learning skills.
B. An online
skills assessment survey provides guidance for distance learning
students at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Faculty and Staff
services are available to help students in this process.
taking the online
skills assessment survey, students are provided individualized
suggestions and recommendations for improvement.
In addition to the support noted in the adjacent columns,
workshops for staff and faculty are offered periodically.
Individual training may be scheduled at 239-590-7085.
2.3.3 Develop strategies
and techniques, such as online discussion or chat, to promote interaction
between learners and instructional materials.
A. Clearly communicate
the "rules of interaction" for online activities so participants
can share the same experience.
B. Clearly communicate
specific performance expectations prior to the start of any learning
activities (e.g. electronic discussion).
C. Clarify the
"role" of students and the instructor in online instructional/learning
responsibility is to provide guidance to students, to serve
as a model, and to monitor or assign a monitor for discussions.
The instructor should act as a facilitator and should participate
but not dominate the discussion.
needs to provide guidelines for all assignments, including
bulletin board discussions. This might appear in a course
Syllabus or on other online documents. For example, many instructors
require students to post their own comments to a posted question
and also to comment on another student's posting. The instructor
needs to clearly define what constitutes an acceptable posting.
discussion, students who might not participate in a face-to-face
class setting may be more likely to participate in electronic
conversations. Students with more experience in a field of
study may serve as mentors to neophytes. Bulletin boards provide
shared space for students to exchange ideas, search for solutions,
and discuss issues related to the course (Zhu, 1998).
The instructor should read student postings and give feedback
if a concept or idea is presented inaccurately. The instructor
may also need to mediate student participation and set a tone
for congenial and respectful interaction.