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According to Arizona State University professor James Klein, one of the learning instructional design scholars, “Learning can be as effective online as it can be face to face.” However, this requires that university online learning programs create opportunities for students to collaborate on projects, assignments and learning initiatives. Klein notes that “interaction increases learning,” and online systems with interactive, collaborative elements that foster group learning opportunities can increase student performance (Troubadour). According to a U.S. Department of Education study, student learning is enhanced by providing greater interactivity with learning materials. Online students experience greater interaction with learning materials that are multifaceted and dynamic, such as lectures containing interactive graphics and electronic readings with embedded videos. Online degree programs can increase student performance by utilizing video and graphic-based electronic materials. According to the U.S. Department of Education, university students who combine online learning with face-to-face instruction–called blended learning–outperform students who study solely on-campus and those who learn solely online. Online university degree programs can enhance student learning by creating face-to-face instruction opportunities, either by creating mandatory residencies or opportunities for learning on satellite campuses. While this option may not be feasible for some schools, those that have the logistical means can increase outcomes with blended learning structures (Horzum).
KAYMAK, Z., & HORZUM, M. (2013). Relationship between Online Learning Readiness and Structure and Interaction of Online Learning Students. Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice13(3), 1792-1797. doi:10.12738/estp.2013.3.1580

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