An exploratory study to determine students' perceptions of the value of interaction in an Australian classroom context and the perceived impact on learning outcomes

McDonald, Jacquelin and Birch, Dawn and Gray, Anthony ORCID: and Gururajan, Raj ORCID: and Hingst, Raymond D. ORCID: and Maguire, Michael (2005) An exploratory study to determine students' perceptions of the value of interaction in an Australian classroom context and the perceived impact on learning outcomes. In: CRLL 2005: What a Difference a Pedagogy Makes: Researching Lifelong Learning and Teaching, 24-26 Jun 2005, Glasgow, Scotland.

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Interaction has long been a defining and critical component of the educational process, whatever the classroom context (Anderson 2003). This paper presents findings of a study to explore the attitudes of students at an Australian university towards various types interactivity in the classroom. The study also investigates students perceptions of how interactivity in the classroom impacts on cognitive, affective and behavioural learning outcomes.

In a recent review of the literature Muirhead & Juwah (2003) argue that interactivity is critical in underpinning the learning process in face-to-face, campus based and distance and online education. They say that interactions serve a diverse range of functions in the educational process, which include learner to learner, learner to content, learner to tutor, learner to technology, tutor to content, tutor to technology, content to content. These functions promote and enhance the quality of active, participative learning in a learning environment. However, literature indicates that attitudes towards active learning involving greater interactivity varies across students and between students and lecturers (Billings, Connors, & Skiba 2001). Investigation into student attitudes of the value and effectiveness of interaction is of particular interest for educators who are adapting the learning of a diverse range of students, including oncampus, distance, international, under and postgradute students.

Much of the existing research into classroom interaction was grounded in the behaviourist and cognitive sciences approach to learning and teaching, where traditional classroom interaction placed the teacher at the centre of all activities as transmitter of knowledge and co-coordinator of student interaction (McLoughlin 2002). Those studies predate the recent application of constructivism (Bonk and Cunningham 1998) and social learning theory (Bandura (1977), and the emphasis on building life long learning skills. This research will contribute to current discussion about the role of interaction in learning, based on a constructivist approach to developing life long learning skills.

This paper will present the findings of an exploratory study of students’ attitudes to various types of interaction in a classroom context. The first step of this exploratory study will employ a focus group approach to gather data from on campus students to identify the key issues that emerge from this data. These findings will be used to design a survey instrument to implement a follow-up research project.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: No
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: No evidence of copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Learning and Teaching Support Unit
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2008 03:52
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2016 02:01
Fields of Research (2008): 17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170103 Educational Psychology
13 Education > 1301 Education Systems > 130103 Higher Education
13 Education > 1302 Curriculum and Pedagogy > 130202 Curriculum and Pedagogy Theory and Development
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520102 Educational psychology
39 EDUCATION > 3903 Education systems > 390303 Higher education
39 EDUCATION > 3901 Curriculum and pedagogy > 390102 Curriculum and pedagogy theory and development
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education

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