Purposeful Interpersonal Interaction: What is it and How is it Measured?

Scott Mehall



Despite extensive studies surrounding the topic of interaction in online learning, faculty are often still relegated to an attempt at replicating their face-to-face course interactions in the online environment. Interpersonal interaction is a necessary yet nebulous concept in online learning. This paper attempts to build a quality lens to view interpersonal interaction in online learning through, called purposeful interpersonal interaction (PII) by exploring types of interpersonal interaction demonstrated in the literature to lead to better student outcomes. PII encompasses three main types of interaction: purposeful interpersonal instructional interaction, purposeful social interaction, and supportive interaction. These interaction types have been associated with important student outcomes like perceived learning, satisfaction, and academic achievement. Robyler and Wiencke’s (2003) rubric for assessing interactive qualities of distance courses (RAIQDC) includes many of the concepts identified as important to PII and has been established as a valid and reliable tool for assessing the amount of quality interpersonal interaction that occurs in an online course.


Keywords: online learning, interaction, instructional design, online pedagogy


Interaction, instructional Design, Online Learning

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24059/olj.v24i1.2002

Copyright (c) 2020 Scott Mehall

License URL: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/