Online Learning Interaction: Perceptions of Experienced Online Instructors - Seminar

Event Date: April 5, 2012
Speaker: Dr. Cindy York
Speaker Affiliation: Assistant Professor, Educational Technology, Research & Assessment, Northern Illinois University
Time: 3:30 p.m.
Location: Forney, G124
Contact Name: Dr. Demetra Evangelou
Contact Phone: 494-4158
Contact Email:

Interaction is a critical factor that impacts student learning and motivation to learn in online courses, but what factors influence interaction in online learning? Experienced online instructors believe there are certain factors that increase interpersonal interaction in online courses. Many of these factors, along with the instructional strategies used to achieve them, have been reported in the literature. If online instructors better understood the factors that influence interpersonal interaction, they would have more on which to base their practice and their choice of instructional strategies. This could lead to improved interaction in online courses. By influencing interpersonal interaction within an online course, instructors can affect student attitudes and performance.

What factors influence interpersonal interaction in an online course? This study examined the perceptions of six experienced online instructors of the factors that influence interpersonal interaction in online courses. Results are presented in the form of three categories: course structure, facilitating discourse, and feedback techniques. Implications for online teaching are discussed.

Cindy York is an assistant professor in Instructional Technology in the Educational Technology, Research and Assessment department at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests include online learning and teaching, technology integration, and instructional design. She received her PhD from Purdue University in Educational Technology in 2010.