Basic Concepts of Online Interactions

Certainly, most of us have once attended a long and boring teaching/learning process (virtual or face-to-face), where the students are merely passive observers and are given little or no opportunities to participate. The truth is, this type of instruction hardly makes an impact on the audience. For effective learning and retention the effective interaction is necessary. This is what makes the experience more worthwhile and valuable for the learner.

The most essential for learning and engagement according to M.G. Moore is three types of interaction as in traditional study environment as in online one:

– between learner – learner;

– between learner – educator;

– between learner – content.

The key aspect is how to apply the learning theories of traditional study environments into the online one, through online interactions.The focus should be put on all three types of the mentioned interactions to make this process more effective:

  • Between Learner-Learner

This type of interaction happens between two learners or among a group of learners. This type of interaction can happen with or without the instructor, only by organizing the learners. The most important – to plan for learner-learner online interaction in teaching/learning by considering student collaboration and information sharing, to build a sense of community within fellow students taking the study process, don’t just encourage them to share their insights, but to create a learning atmosphere where they can participate, offer response, draw affective feedback and communicate in short, focused messages. This fosters powerful relationships among students and allows them to better understand your material. Such type of interaction enables students to interact with each other even in an educator’s absence through new technology. It is possible to start with discussion boards, telecommunication tools such as email and chat rooms, and social collaboration tools. For example, to provide a student-only forum where learners can discuss their interests or to schedule chat sessions that they can attend to discuss a specific topic.

2)   Between Learner-Educator

This type of interaction happens when the educator delivers information, provides feedback or simply encourages or guides the learner. It also takes place when a learner asks the instructor questions or communicates with him or her regarding the study process. The educator serves as a guide, a facilitator, an expert or a support depending on the situation, while learners can

interact with fellow learners. By providing ongoing feedback to learners, the educator can clarify issues, reinforce crucial points and correct interpretation of a subject matter, and stimulate learners’ interest and motivation. The key difference is that an online educator does not take centre stage during online interactions, just becomes a “guide on the side” and not a “sage on the stage.” The process is organized in the way of online dialogues (through e-mail address, social media accounts, etc.); by monitoring the student’s performance and participation, by offering timely or prompt feedback, by providing clear and detailed information to the learners for every step of the way.

3)   Between Learner-Content

This type of interaction takes place when students themselves obtain information directly from online learning materials. It happens whenever they interact with the text or are deeply engrossed with the digital content. It is important to offer different formats of online content – text, audio or video as well as checking the understanding afterwards. Moreover, to create challenging tasks that require students to interact with the digital content and explore the topic in greater detail. Simulations, web searches, scenarios, case studies, etc.

Major Topic: Online Interaction

Learning Objectives

 By the end of the Learning Unit, trainees will be capable of:

  • Understand what is online interactions
  • Use effectively online interactions in practice
  • Describe the key elements of online interactions
  • Able to use a variety of different approaches for effective online interactions
  • Understand and develop basic concepts of online interactions, using basic knowledge of information literacy and digital content creation tips
  • Be aware of safety rules and key problem-solving during online interactions
  • Realize advantages of online interactions

Basic Concepts

▪            Online Interaction

▪            Digital Competence

▪            Digital Competence Framework

▪            Information Literacy

▪            Digital Environment

▪            Digital Content

▪            Problem-solving during Online Interactions

▪            Social Media

▪            Safety in Digital World

▪            Online Environment


  1. Online Interactions – Introduction, Key Factors and Elements How to search the Web;
  2. Information Literacy in Online Interactions How to evaluate information;
  3. Interaction through Digital Technologies;
  4. Digital Content Creation for Online Interactions
  5. Safety and Problem-solving in Online Interactions

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