How Will I Interact in an Online Course?

In traditional class settings, the instructor provides feedback to students vocally. There are lectures in which there is body language, or writing on a whiteboard or chalkboard. Students are able to comment or ask questions, interact with others in verbal discussions, collaborate with small groups, and give presentations.

There are very similar forms of interaction in an online course, with a few substantial differences.

Writing is the primary form of communication in the online classroom. You still have the ability to connect and have discussions, however you will most likely do this in:

  • E-mails
  • Word or PDF documents
  • Threaded discussions or message boards
  • Chat rooms

Verbal communication is used in teleconferencing and videoconferencing if your course requires it.

There are no specified meeting times as online learning is usually asynchronous. This means the instructors and students do not necessarily need to be online at the same time to post information or messages.

All students have varied personal schedules and live in different time zones. Remember this is most likely why they are taking an online class to begin with. Flexibility.


By: Angela Caban