Assessing and Enhancing Class Interaction

Once the instructional activities have been selected, the overall course design needs to be assessed for interaction. Depending on the activities used, additional interactions may be needed. Ideally, however, interaction should be built into the design of the video teletraining class. Used effectively, interactivity affects motivation, attention, and retention. Understanding the types of interaction and ways interaction is achieved will help add variety as well as more ways for participants to be actively involved in learning. To structure interaction, the course developer must be aware of what is being seen and heard at all sites.

VC ClassroomInteraction does not mean that all participants must interact with the instructor. Interaction can take place

  • between instructor and participants
  • between participants at the same location
  • between participants at two or more locations, and
  • between participants and media.

For example, participants at one location could list the pros and the cons of an issue as a large group or could work in small groups to generate the list; participants at one location could debate one side of an issue while participants at a second location debate the other; participants at three locations could be given the same task and all share the results; participants could listen to an audiotape or watch a videotape and then react and take a paper and pencil quiz; or participants could read an article and answer questions.

Activities designed to enhance interaction can include assignments requiring decision-making, value judgments, analyses, and other means of making the participant work with content material, such as brainstorming, case studies, team tasks, role plays, and data gathering. Course design can also include interviews, panels, and field trips—although these may fall into the category of holding interest rather than interaction. Even the time-honored lecture can be made more interactive.

The course developer and the instructor can also use good questioning strategies to increase learner involvement. Some instructors intuitively use questioning strategies to involve participants and get feedback on comprehension; many do not. Therefore, the course developer must build interaction into the presentation through substantive questioning strategies. This means more than just recalling and reciting facts. It means using questions that encourage analysis, synthesis, and judgment. Questions should not, however, be written into the design simply to promote superficial interaction; the questions should provoke thinking and learning.

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Day 1 Expectations 

 Teaching Strategies