After reading and commenting on other student’s posts, I became aware of what my fellow students value in an online class. For my post, I was looking primarily at the scholarship that supported the need for social interaction in order to allow students greater opportunity for academic success and to allow them greater engagement in the course itself. PandaFisher wrote about social interaction “once this contact is established the activities are easier to deliver and with that the learners engagement and participation is at a high.”
I think this is a good point. It makes sense that having a base of support would help students to better understand assignments. Margaret explored the idea of collaboration and social interaction from another angle when she wrote in her blog “today’s workplace is more knowledge-based, interdisciplinary, and complicated. Therefore, collaboration is the key to complete sophisticated tasks – it cannot be done without the help of others.” Obviously, this points to the need for students to work in school in the same way that they will be working when they achieve professional positions.
Bethany points out the need for instructors to be available and to respond to their online students. It could be argued that this is even more important though somewhat more difficult to achieve in an online course. Cara raised concern about student use and understanding of technology. I think this is also an important point. I commented on her blog that I am concerned that people who can afford to purchase items will have greater access to the technology and greater ability than those who do not have the funds to pay for these items.
MaDonna illustrated the need to use the Community of Inquiry (CoI) as a framework for a successful course. The CoI encompasses three types of interaction; peer-to-peer, student-to-instructor, and cognitive presence to the course material. It is a valuable structure and brings together the elements of interaction in a way that would support academic learning and student satisfaction through multiple levels of interaction.