Talent Rugube, Khetsiwe Eunice Mthethwa-Kunene, Cosmas Maphosa


Online learning is different from face-to-face contact learning. The former is technology-mediated and often accused of lacking the interaction the learners would have when learning together in contact sessions. However, the richness of online learning is flexibility, which allows learning to take place anytime from anywhere. Online learning through the utilisation of digital learning platforms may provide rich learning experiences. The Covid-19 pandemic prompted most institutions of higher learning to move to online learning due to restrictions on gathering. Some of the institutions were not prepared for this move and this resulted in challenges in implementing online learning effectively. When online learning is not implemented properly, students will be pedagogically distanced from the course instructor and the learning process. Moore’s (1989) transactional distance theory notes the importance of pedagogical distance to ensure effective distance learning. In this discussion, we unpack the transactional distance theory and suggest ways of promoting interactivity in online learning in different ways. Conclusions are drawn from the discussion and recommendations are made.

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collaborative learning, pedagogical distance, interactivity, online learning, higher education

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