Like Peas in a Pod: A Strategy for Creatively Transposing Interaction-based Classes into an Online Learning Environment
Main Article Content
The sudden shift to online learning thrust upon universities worldwide by the COVID-19 crisis created unique challenges related to effective online education. Challenges were most acute for highly interactive classes that were forced to move to asynchronous online learning environments. In response to these challenges, we developed an instructional model, rooted in group communication theories and concepts, designed to promote meaningful online learner-to-learner interaction. In this paper, we provide an analytical assessment of our communication-based interaction model, which was implemented in five classes taught at a German university during the COVID shutdown. Part 1 describes the model, its development, and its implementation. Part 2 analyzes learners’ perceptions of the model’s effectiveness using a mixed-methods approach. Results demonstrate the viability of the model, indicating that it is possible to provide meaningful interaction in asynchronous online classes, even in the midst of a pandemic, if communication goals are clearly articulated and strategically implemented.
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