Some Strategies for Balancing Economies of Scale and Interaction in Online/Distance Education Courses

August 26, 2005


After reviewing the literature on interaction in distance education/online learning contexts, I offer some suggestions for balancing students’ and teachers’ needs for greater interaction with the economies of scale often achieved in such learning contexts. Specifically, I suggest that instructors’ use of threaded online discussions and student small learning groups will maximize interaction while also enhancing learning. Additionally, I recommend that instructors incorporate individual student learning styles into the instructional design of their online/distance education courses. I conclude by discussing the ways that these three strategies are particularly useful when teaching business-related courses.

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