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Schools and colleges all around the world have started making use of advanced technology to provide learners effective, efficient and adequate instruction. The use of Internet and Web for learning and teaching has caused many online courses to be offered when teaching-learning activities are required for both students and faculty. The Internet has shown a rapid and important growth in the extent of online education. This has created a new paradigm for teaching and learning that is different from the traditional classroom experience and also different from earlier technology-based attempts (Kearsley, 1998). One of the most important online course components has proven to be interaction, especially learner to learner interaction. Alexander C. lists the top ten ranking components of an optimal online environment, giving peer interaction the first place. Kearsley (1998) also states that discussions among learners are among the most important components. This is not surprising because one of the most important factors in learning appears to be interaction among learners and interaction between instructor and learners. No matter how learning takes place, interaction has always been of great importance so that an effective learning can occur. Especially when instruction is given to learners learning at a distance, this interaction component is of vital importance. Having the lack of social interaction, learners may feel alone and helpless at times they need to get help from someone, especially from their peers taking same course as in any traditional classrooms. Studies suggest that facilitators’ active interactions with students have significant effects on the quality of online distance learning (Thomas, Caswell, Price & Petre, 1998)

Topics: Online, interaction, facilitation., Special aspects of education, LC8-6691, Education, L, DOAJ:Education, DOAJ:Social Sciences
Publisher: Anadolu University, Eskisehir
Year: 2009
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