Although we typically think of interaction as occurring among students and instructor in the online classroom, students also interact with the design of the course itself and the technology that is used to deliver the course to them. A form of interaction that receives less attention in the literature, however, is vicarious interaction, where students observe the interactions of others, but don’t participate as “direct interactors.” This case study examined the communication behaviors of students interacting both directly and vicariously in an online classroom. The amount of conversation students contributed while interacting directly and the amount of conversation they read while interacting both directly and vicariously were counted and categorized. The same analysis was applied to writing assignments students produced subsequent to each type of session. Students completed a brief survey to assess their attitudes towards each form of interaction. Study found differences in patterns of interaction, influences on subsequent writing assignments, and students’ attitudes towards the two types of interaction.
|Keywords:||Vicarious, Interaction, Online|
Associate Professor of English, English Department, Purdue University Calumet, Hammond, Indiana, USA
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