The Efficacy of Online Tools: How Technology Impacts Interaction

By Shellie Note-Gressard and Michael Paul Menchaca.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Interaction is an integral dimension of education that carries with it an extensive body of research. In the realm of online distance education, consideration of interaction is paramount, as it is dependent on technology. With the current and projected growth of online distance education enrollment, understanding the perceived effect online tools have on these learners will impact the future of distance education planning and design. This mixed methods study surveyed twenty-four students enrolled in an online educational technology graduate program on their perception of the efficacy of program specific online tools as they related to three types of interaction: learner-instructor, learner-learner and learner-content. The results showed student perception of satisfaction influenced the quality of the learning in distance education. Student satisfaction was influenced by the perception of community and interactivity. The online tools, as used by the instructor, were responsible in large part for providing the platform for interactivity and the sense of community in distance learning.

Keywords: Online Learning, Distance Education, Learner Interaction

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp.13-30. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1015.946KB).

Shellie Note-Gressard

Assistant Head, Parker School, Honolulu, HI, USA

Ms. Note-Gressard, born in Washington and raised in upstate New York, holds bachelor’s degrees in Biology and Psychology from Washington State University. She also earned a master’s degree in Educational Technology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Dr. Michael Paul Menchaca

Associaate Professor, Department of Educational Technology, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Dr. Menchaca is an associate professor in the University of Hawaii’s Department of Educational Technology. He directs the online master in Educational Technology program. He conducts research on online learning, social justice with technology, and integrating technology into teaching and learning.

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