Can Distance Learning be “Interactive”?

Well, I guess that depends on what we think interactive means.  Does interactive mean that classes have to include real time discussion or will an activity as simple as clicking a button on the screen meet the definition?

Does it mean learning exercises, learning assessments, group discussions?

Does it have something to do with all parties being able to control the content, pace and assessment?

Can the learner be at all proactive or only reactive?

Does it have to simulate a classroom?  And who said classrooms were all interactive? Haven’t we all been in a class where the instructor droned on as you drifted off?  Not that these are the only two choices but I’d rather listen to a talented speaker electronically than a poor one live.

Is interactivity really necessary.  Think about books.  It might be possible that throughout history more learning has happened through reading than any other method.  Now even books are changing.  Take a look at this http://blog.ted.com/2011/04/28/a-next-generation-digital-book-mike-matas-on-ted-com/

And what about video.  YouTube is a huge learning platform.  Have you sought information about something on YouTube?   Speaking of YouTube here is a video on my new favorite information source, Flipboard. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2vpvEDS00o I love the multimedia, internet connected way to learn.

So, now that I have talked around interactivity, maybe the discussion should move to quality vs. method.

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