In 2014, I was honoured to be invited (with my wife Susan) to be a visiting scholar at Beijing Normal University (BNU). BNU is arguably the preeminent research university in distance and online education in China. One of my commitments during this visit was to create a review of the thorny and complex topic of interaction in distance education.
As anyone researching distance and online education and many readers of this blog will know, interaction leading to active and engaged learning is a pivotal topic for teachers, learners and institutions. Interaction is multi-faceted (many actors, many modes) but also expensive in terms of student and teacher time. Thus, there has been a wealth of research on the topic during the 40 years that I have been an active researcher and teacher.
Thus, with no apology for the length, I link here the final 44 page review. Most obviously it is 7 years out of date, but I think distance education researchers and teachers will find something of value in the extensive research and references noted. Ironically when I returned to Canada I submitted the review study and was told it was published in China, However, I didn’t bother to promote or publish the review myself.
Fortunately, Grad student SCOTT A. HAUERT, saw the review in Chinese and asked me to make it available (in English)! I attempt to rectify this mistake by posting the review here under a Creative Common Public Domain license.
The full Research Review is here
I post below the table of contents: