An example of an online assignment that I had in one of my master’s degree courses was a group graphic organizer. Unfortunately, this was before the explosion of the web, and we did not have a wiki, so we had to complete the graphic organizer by emailing back and forth. I remember how much it was a pain to be the person in charge of editing and have to retype work submitted in a different format. Interaction between your group members was critical. In today’s digital society, groups complete this assignment using a wiki, without the headache and worry about formats. A wiki allows students to collaborate and manipulate a piece of work while the teacher observes and give guidance. Collaboration and the interaction within members of the group are essential for each person’s success in an online learning environment (Anderson, 2008).
The four goals are essential for the learner to receive the ultimate learning experience and be able to be successful in the learning environment. Online learning can provide the ultimate learning environment when there is an appropriate mix of interactions via content, teacher, and other students (Anderson, 2008).
Successful distance learning will have the constructivist theory as a foundation to provide an atmosphere engaging students through activities, student interaction, and reflections providing desired learning outcomes (Anderson, 2008). Distance learning must have some direction and goal in mind, but then allow the student to figure out the end destination through collaboration and on his/her own. Activities and various peer interactions support the student in their learning as they process the content and the thoughts of peers.
Anderson, T. (Ed.). (2008). The theory and practice of online learning. (2nd ed.). Edmonton, AB: Athabasca University Press.