Remote learning is one of many trends that have persisted even after the recent pandemic, which has now turned into hybrid classrooms that offer many benefits for students and educators alike. That said, this new type of distance learning is not without its unique challenges, which are mainly centered around the reduced quality of student interaction and engagement, which, in turn, diminishes learning outcomes. The following contents tackle the different types of interaction teachers need to know to make their hybrid classroom work.
Moore’s Three Types of Interactions
Michael G. Moore, a Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Education at Pennsylvania State University, has made many contributions to the field of distance education, one of which is the three types of interaction that are vital in what we now call remote learning classrooms. These are:
- Learner-Content Interaction
- Learner-Instructor Interaction
- Learner-Learner Interaction
By learning about these three effective communication categories, teachers can plan how their students learn and get the support they need in any environment. Since many educators are still new to hybrid classrooms, it is best to view these interactions with that perspective in mind.
This type of interaction occurs when students learn from the materials they interact with and is arguably the least utilized in many hybrid classrooms today.
How can educators set up lessons for students to learn from places besides themselves? Is there something they can watch or read that will teach them skills or information that lets them form their own perspective and gives their instructor a moment to not be leading?
Ensuring that learners stay focused on what they are supposed to be learning from the content requires using learning targets and criteria. Learning targets describe the skills and knowledge students need to demonstrate at the end of each lesson and are broken down into criteria, wherein meeting all of them means achieving the given learning target.
Tips to Overcome Learner-Content Obstacles
- Find content
It is now easier than ever to find videos and other resources for just about every topic and grade level, so consider using those already made by other educators, but be sure they are factually correct.
- Set up independent learning
Teachers can use any asynchronous time for students to interact with content independently in hybrid learning. However, it is essential to provide them with well-defined learning targets and criteria they can access at any time without disrupting their concentration on the content.
Learner-Instructor interactions take place whenever a student and their teacher are in conversation. It is important to note that this interaction is not only a time for leading whole-class lessons but also for guiding students and providing feedback. This feedback during lessons serves as a component of the formative assessment as it allows students to make revisions, which helps to further their learning and promote student engagement and motivation.
Tips to Overcome Learner-Instructor Obstacles
- Plan your interactions
Include feedback and instruction during planning, especially the former, since it is best not to expect it to simply occur as part of your instruction. Planning when to give feedback helps students apply it during lessons.
As its name implies, this interaction refers to the instances when students interact with their peers with or without the presence of a teacher. Like in physical classrooms, students thrive when they can talk to each other during their hybrid classes, so teachers should partner up with their students whenever possible.
When doing so, it is best to consider pairing in-person and virtual students so that they can benefit from the other’s different perspectives and achieve richer interactions. This partnering approach also gives teachers a different view of the virtual classroom when teaching on-site as they can see how their in-person students interact with their online peers.
Tips to Overcome Learner-Instructor Obstacles
- Be consistent with routines
Creating routines ensures pairs or teams of students know where to meet their partners and responsibilities in the group. Keep it as simple as possible and add new routines as necessary without overcomplicating things.
- Encourage discussions about learning progress
This interaction process should ideally have pairs or teams discuss their progress towards the learning targets to let them stay on top of the things they still need to learn and ultimately stay engaged with their learning.
Learning is constantly changing, and hybrid classrooms are just one of the many new developments that educators must get to grips with. Given that information and research on how to implement effective interaction in distance learning has been around for quite some time now, there is no better time than now to use them and make remote learning just as effective as the traditional approach.
To become a more effective educator in traditional and hybrid classroom environments, consider signing up for StrengthAsia’s workshops for teachers today. With the CliftonStrengths advantage at your side, you can find the teaching style that best engages your students and guides them towards better learning outcomes. For more information about our other services, such as leadership development workshops in Singapore, don’t hesitate to contact us anytime.