The article “Creating interaction in online learning: a case study” by K. J. Downing et al. (2007) provides readers with information on research on remote interaction between students and teachers. The authors conducted a study on how these stakeholders use the electronic platform for educational and social needs. The purpose of this critical review is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the article and determine its value for modern science. This article is of undoubted interest due to the popularity of online learning, and its results can be applied in modern educational institutions.
The article’s text contains several sections: introduction, methods, procedure, results, discussion, conclusion, and references. This clear structure allows readers to highlight the main details and, if necessary, conveniently find the information they need. The article presents several illustrative graphs, so the data is visual and convenient to operate with. The pictures contain information about how students interacted with each other and with the teacher. Interestingly, they used the platform for both educational and social or emotional purposes. This is a complete system that allows them to partially recreate the communication inside the classroom.
The authors’ first important conclusion is that the electronic platform is useful for creating social connections between students. In addition, teachers are also involved in this communication, as they support the community at the time of its formation. The second finding was that the students created too many small study groups. It would be helpful to track this process earlier to avoid unnecessary information exchange and make work within the groups more productive. The third conclusion is that during the educational process, students’ involvement in online interaction has decreased. They got used to the platform and probably lost interest in it, so they used it exclusively for their studies. Nevertheless, it has proven to be a reliable and comfortable tool for work. In it, the teacher proved himself as a leader and conducted a full-fledged training course.
In my opinion, this article is a valuable material that can be used with benefit in modern online education. Trends show that its popularity will not decline anytime soon, so it is crucial to improve its quality. The structure of the article is built so that it gradually reveals to the readers all the details of the case. It is convenient and allows readers to understand in detail what is happening and find the most useful information.
In my opinion, the most useful conclusion of the article is that the level of student involvement in the educational process decreases over time. In general, this happens quite often, but it is more difficult to keep track of it in online education. Hence, it is essential to support students’ attention and interest. There are different ways to do this: interesting tasks, unusual material, various media files, and other means. Thanks to an integrated approach, students will be able to get the most out of the educational process and remember the course information.
One way to expand and supplement the article is to increase the number of students who participated in the study. Perhaps some of the features of their behavior are due to certain relationships that have developed on the course. Moreover, the result of the work can be influenced by the field of study, particularly psychology. Therefore, to make the information more complete, the results of students’ work in other courses could be added. This way, it would be possible to find out if there is a difference between their interaction, and if there is not, then to get a more complete picture of the use of the online platform.
The article “Creating interaction in online learning: a case study” by K. J. Downing et al. (2007) is an interesting and valuable example of students’ remote learning process. The information obtained by the research has not lost relevance but only became more useful, taking into account our time trends. It would be interesting to do this kind of research these days. First, it would allow a comparison of changes over a decade. Second, it would provide a complete picture of modern online learning.
Downing, K. J., Lam, T., Kwong, T., Downing, W., and Chan, S. (2007) ‘Creating interaction in online learning: a case study, ALT-J, 15(3), pp. 201-215.