Interaction and Immediacy in Online Learning

Jason A. Baker, International Review of Research in Open, Distance Learning, Aug 04, 2004
Commentary by Stephen Downes

The authors' key point is that "Interaction alone... is insufficient to create a positive social dynamic in the online classroom." An important mediating element, argue the authors, is "immediacy," which is "the extent to which selected communicative behaviors enhance physical or psychological closeness in interpersonal communication" and "immediacy is both a consequence of interaction and a contributor to it." The implication is that immediacy enhances interaction, but one would be hard pressed to draw this conclusion explicity in this paper. Indeed, neither this paper nor the next is very clearly written. At the very least, we could be provided with Figure 1, the diagram referred to, but not included, in this essay.
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