Critiquing Anderson’s Theorem

Lolding/ July 9, 2020/ LDRS 663/ 0 comments

In my last post, I offered a defence of Anderson’s Interaction Equivalency Theorem. The following is a short critique.

While it may be natural for an instructor to naturally gravitate towards one particular type of interaction during teaching, it is important that they work to include all three unique interaction types to ensure all learners have the opportunity to be engaged in meaningful learning. While time and resources may be at a premium, decisions should not be made in favour of finances at the expense of students and learning.

Each learner is a unique individual with different preferences and learning styles. Bayne (2004) as cited in Al-Dujaily et al. (2013) claims “that people’s personality has a significant influence on how learners may or may not want to become involved in their learning processes, independent of their personal interests or stage of cognitive development” (p. 16). For this reason, instructors must strive to include a variety of interaction types to reach each unique learner. Although focusing on one type of interaction may make it “possible to concentrate resources and time to increase the quality of that interaction rather than having multiple mediocre interactions”, it also increases the possibility of completely leaving some learners out of the learning (Johanson, 2020). Instead of building stronger relationships through interaction, teachers risk alienating learners.
Rather than an either-or situation, instructors need to find a way to do both-and to ensure all learners have the opportunity to engage in meaningful interactions.

Al-Dujaily, A., Kim, J., and Ryu, R. (2013) Am I extravert or introvert? Considering the personality effect toward e-learning. System Journal of Educational Technology & Society , 16(3), 14-27.

Anderson, T. (2003). Getting the mix right again: An updated and theoretical rationale for interaction. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 4(2), 1–14.

Johanson, T. (2020, July 5). Defending Anderson’s Equivalency Theorem. (Johanson) [Online forum post]. LDRS 663.

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