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Exploring Students’ Online Learning Interaction Behaviors and Experiences: A Case Study

By Chwen Jen Chen and Chee Siong Teh

In response to the Covid-19 crisis, many countries, including Malaysia, have resorted to online learning. As instructors of a public university in Malaysia, we experienced the sudden loss of physical interaction opportunities with our students. Unlike conventional face-to-face class sessions, we could not see our students’ interaction behaviors during online learning. This triggered us to explore ways to gain insights into our students’ online learning interaction behaviors and experiences. We found the learning management system (LMS) analytics and the analysis of interactions within the social messaging app and virtual live classes were relevant to discovering students’ online interaction behaviors. We also employed interviews and a survey as self-reported means to gain insights into students’ online learning experiences. In addition, we referred to Terry Anderson’s model of online learning to guide a more structured exploration of the interaction behaviors and experiences. The examination of student-content, student-instructor and student-student interactions and students’ experiences provide many insights into the employed pedagogical practices. Such insights prompt various interventions during the course and inspire different pedagogical ideas to improve the future implementation of the course. We anticipate that other instructors can replicate the methodology used in this study in their respective contexts to gather evidence of students’ interaction behaviors and experiences and to make informed online pedagogical decisions.

Read the TLI article here.

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