Vol. 30 No. 2 (2015)
Research Brief

An Exploratory Study of Levels of Interaction Occurring with Graduate Students in an Online Literacy Course

Tina Selvaggi
West Chester University of Pennsylvania
Published January 4, 2016
  • Distance Education,
  • Graduate Students,
  • interactions
How to Cite
Selvaggi, T. (2016). An Exploratory Study of Levels of Interaction Occurring with Graduate Students in an Online Literacy Course. International Journal of E-Learning & Distance Education / Revue Internationale Du E-Learning Et La Formation à Distance, 30(2). Retrieved from https://www.ijede.ca/index.php/jde/article/view/939


This study surveyed graduate students prior to, and immediately following, a literacy course offered online to determine their interactions with the content, interactions with the instructor, and interactions with peers throughout the semester. The study also examined graduate students’ opinions about the convenience and perceived benefits of taking this course in an online format.  Findings indicated that, prior to the course, less than one quarter of the graduate students (22%) expected the online experience to enhance their understanding of course content at a high level. Prior to the course more than half of the students (52%) also expected a high level of frequent and meaningful interactions with the instructor. When asked about their expectations of meaningful interactions with peers, more than half (52%) of the students indicated high-level expectations on this item. Following the course, students were again asked to rate their interactions with course content, with the instructor, and with peers.  In all instances interactions were described as high level and increased following the course. This exploratory study provides interesting insight into the importance of aligning course content and instruction with student expectations when taking online courses.  More research is needed to evaluate the impact interactions with content, instructors, and peers has on the learning experience for graduate students enrolled in online courses. 



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