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Learner-Instructor Interaction: Technology

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Purposes of using technology for learner-instructor interaction. Tools for asynchronous learner-instructor interaction. Tools for synchronous learner instructor interaction.This lesson is part of the NFLRC Online Language Pedagogy Series, designed for in-service teachers of world languages online.

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According to Shackelford & Maxwell (2012), the purposes of learner - instructor interaction include:Providing information on goals, expectations, and ethicsParticipating in and guiding discussionsProviding support and encouragementProviding timely feedbackUsing multiple modes of communicationInstructor modelingRequired participation Guidelines for Technology Usage:
Technology is essential in online learning environments. It is a tool to help instructors maintain communication with students. However, technology can also cause problems that can frustrate users. The issue of technology is a significant concern, especially in remote areas where the lack of necessary infrastructure support may result in difficulty accessing the course content (Thurmond & Wambach, 2004). One way to avoid the technical challenge is adopting the universal design of instruction principles created by the Center for Universal Design (CUD) at North Carolina State University:Equitable useFlexible useSimple and intuitivePerceptible informationTolerance for errorLow physical and technical effortSize and space for approach and use Activities & Tools for synchronous learner-instructor interaction:Group meeting: Online meeting (Blackboard Collaborate, Adobe Connect, Skype (25 people limit), Simulation meeting (Second Life)Individual meeting: Online meeting (Skype, Appear In (8 people limit), PhoneOffice Hour: Online (Skype), PhoneInstant responses: Pull (Pull Everywhere, Blackboard Collaborate Poll) Activities & Tools for asynchronous learner-instructor interaction: Welcome Message: Email, Audio (Voki, Vocaroo), Video (Youtube, Voicethread), Virtual board (Padlet)Announcement: EmailDiscussion Feedback: Discussion forumAssignment Feedback: Gradebook, Dropbox, Google DocsLearning Journal: Blog (Google Doc, Blogger, Wordpress, Weebly) References:

Factors in High Quality Distance Learning Courses:

Instructor to Student Interaction Online:

Online Course Interaction:

Shackelford, J. L., & Maxwell, M. (2012). Contribution of learner–instructor interaction to sense of community in graduate online education. MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching, 8(4). Retrieved:

Universal Design of Instruction (UDI): Definition, Principles, Guidelines, and Examples. Retrieved from:

Thurmond, V., & Wambach, K. (2004). Understanding interactions in distance education: A review of the literature. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning, 1(1). Retrieved:

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