Interaction in Online Courses: More is NOT Always Better, Christian Grandzol and John Grandzol, Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, Volume XIII, Number II, Summer 2010.
Abstract: Cognitive theory suggests more interaction in learning environments leads to improved learning outcomes and increased student satisfaction, two indicators of success useful to program administrators. Using a sample of 359 lower-level online, undergraduate business courses, we investigated course enrollments, student and faculty time spent in interaction, and course completion rates, all drivers of resource consumption. Our key findings indicate that increased levels of interaction, as measured by time spent, actually decrease course completion rates. This result is counter to prevailing curriculum design theory and suggests increased interaction may actually diminish desired program reputation and growth. Continue reading the full article.