While researchers agree that student participation is key to learning, it seems that the issue of interaction in online learning is not yet resolved. The current study investigated students’ online interaction and online learner participation in an online enabling science subject and compared this with their final grades. The data were analysed through the lens of Anderson’s (2003) interaction equivalence theorem. The findings from the current study provide support for the interaction equivalence theorem. Student-teacher interaction and student-content interaction were evident, but not student-student interaction. Significant relationships were found between student success and online learner participation, but not online interaction. Generalisations are limited by a small sample size and online interaction and participation was measured in terms of quantity rather than quality. Still, following the interaction equivalence theorem, it appears that students can have a satisfying and meaningful learning experience despite not having student-student interaction.
Exploring online interaction and online learner participation in an online science subject through the lens of the interaction equivalence theorem
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