Monday, April 4, 2011

Week 10: Interactive and Collaborative Learning

When I read the article written by Zhao, N. and McDougall, D (2008), I felt like Chinese students’ perceptions toward online courses in the study were very much similar to mine when I took online courses at IU.

I have taken three online courses at IU until now. When I first attended an online course I thought it was very strange type of class. I was not familiar with asynchronous online discussions or interaction with peer in the online environment. However, as time went by, I felt online courses were very beneficial for me. First, I liked online courses because I felt less language barrier than face-to-face classes. I could have more time to think, reflect, and read others’ postings before I post my threads. However, sometimes it was difficult to understand the meaning of others’ postings when they talked about the details of North American culture and use colloquial language. Second, I liked that I could have more chance to talk in online environments while I barely talked in traditional face-to-face classes. Third, I enjoyed online discussion because I could hear others’ ideas. I could have ‘real’ interaction with other students by giving and receiving each other’s feedback every week. And, I felt that students in online classes showed more thoughtful and reflective ideas than who were in face-to-face classes. Finally, online learning was very attractive to me because it was very convenient and flexible. I could attend classes whenever and wherever I want to, if I am with my laptop. Also, I could manage my study schedule by studying at my own pace.


Naxin Zhao & Douglas McDougall (2008). Cultural influences on Chinese students’ asynchronous online learning in a Canadian university. Journal of Distance Learning, 22(2). 59-80.
Retrieved on Apr 5, 2011 from  

1 comment:

  1. An excellent summarization of the pros of online asynchronous learning. However, to play devils advocate again, there are many times asynchronous learning has its problems, like group work that has deadlines, or things like this critical friend we have here that could be causing problems if the co-hort isn't posting in a timely manner so you can respond...luckily, we don't have that issue in our arrangement :)