Connection Between Interactivity and Retention in Online Courses

The 90s internet.This is an old post that I resurrected from a previous iteration of this blog. I am putting it here because I am going to update this research, but I thought it might be helpful to others to see that despite conversations, publications and presentations on the necessity for engagement in online learning, we are still getting LMSs and “platforms” that see online teaching and learning as content delivery. URLs were updated through Archive.Org where possible. 

 

From 2009:

Here is some preliminary research/reading into online course retention, completion, success and interactivity. It is a claim I make in our handbook of online course development, I want to make sure our research is up to date. If you have anything to add to this, PLEASE comment with a link. You will be remembered in a later annotated bibliography!

This kind of research is essential for understanding the importance of group projects, social media, and utilizing a wide-variety of networking modes in online courses. It is not enough to have information on the web or in a network. Students and teachers need to engage with this information, interact in a network in particular ways. This becomes a course design strategy. Some of these articles are older because I believe that they hold some keys to how we should be looking at social networks and media – both of which hold a potential for interaction undreamed of in the early 90s.

Aldrich, Clark (2009) A Taxonomy of Interactivity. Clack Aldrich On Serious Games and Simulations. http://clarkaldrich.blogspot.com/2008/08/taxonomy-of-interactivity.html

Anderson, Terry (2003) Getting the Mix Right Again: an updated and theoretical rationale for interaction. The International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, Vol 4, No 2. http://www.irrodl.org/index.php/irrodl/article/view/149/230

Henry, Jim and Meadows, Jeff (2008) An Absolutely Riveting Online Course: Nine principles for excellence in web-based teaching. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology / La revue canadienne de l’apprentissage et de la technologie, V34(1) Winter / Hiver, 2008. https://web.archive.org/web/20090221225201/https://cjlt.ca/index.php/cjlt/article/view/179/177

Herbert, Michael (2006) Staying the Course: A Study in Online Student Satisfaction and Retention. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume IX, Number IV, Winter 2006. University of West Georgia, Distance Education Centerhttp://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter94/herbert94.htm.

“Incorporating Interaction in Your Distance Learning Course.” (2005) Academic Technology Center. Worcester Polytechnic Institute. http://web.archive.org/web/20060909200751/http://www.wpi.edu/Academics/ATC/Collaboratory/Teaching/interaction.html

O’Brien, B. (2002). Online Student Retention: Can It Be Done?. In P. Barker & S. Rebelsky (Eds.), Proceedings of World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia and Telecommunications 2002 (pp. 1479-1483). Chesapeake, VA: AACE. http://www.editlib.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=Reader.PrintAbstract&paper_id=9973

Roblyer, M. D. and Ekhaml, Leticia (2000) How Interactive Are Your Distance Courses? A rubric for assessing interaction in distance learning. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume III, Number II, Spring, 2000. State University of West Georgia, Distance Education Center. http://www.westga.edu/~distance/roblyer32.html

Sims, Rod (2000) An Interactive Conundrum: Constructs of interactivity and learning theory. Australian Journal of Educational Technology. 2000, 16(1), 45-57. https://web.archive.org/web/20090209014922/http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet16/sims.html

Shedroff, Nathan (1994) Information Interaction Design: A Unified Field Theory of Design. https://web.archive.org/web/20090327211533/http://nathan.com/thoughts/unified/

Thorpe, Mary (2008) “Effective Online Interaction: Mapping course design to bridge from research to practice.” Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 24(1), 57-72. https://web.archive.org/web/20090213102536/http://ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet24/thorpe.html

Thurmond, Veronica and Wambach, Karen (2004) Towards an Understanding of Interactions at a Distance. http://web.archive.org/web/20080130193445/http://www.eaa-knowledge.com/ojni/ni/8_2/interactions.htm.

What I am reading now:
Journal of Interactive Online Learning http://www.ncolr.org/jiol/
This is a publication of the Virtual Center for Online Learning Research. There are articles here from 2002 to the present.

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