Ways to Improve Interaction among Students in Online Courses

Credit: iStock.com/Orbon Alija
Credit: iStock.com/Orbon Alija
Have you ever wondered how to structure or strengthen a requirement for students in your online courses to interact with each other in meaningful ways? Perhaps you assigned discussion forum posts and responses or assigned team work only to notice that interactions devolve into superficial exchanges. In a study we recently conducted asking students their perceptions of required student-to-student interactions in online courses (Lesht & Schejbal, 2020), undergraduate and graduate students in online programs were eager to share their perspectives. Comments on the matter ranged from “waste of time” to “can be beneficial,” depending on the design of the required interactions. What follows are tips based on student insights and our experience.

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