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Social Interaction in Online Courses

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The Importance of Social Interaction in Online Courses

It's surprising how many educators and learning developers don’t like engaging students in discussions. As a result, many courses and learning products lack options that allow students space to interact with other students or even with the instructor. And though it's remarkable, the rationale is easy to come by, people learn through lectures, contemplation, writing and researching, individual activities, and of course from simply reading.

We are always learning, after all, absorbing knowledge and skills from pretty much anything! So why even bother with discussions? Why include interaction with other people? Especially online, where—if done poorly—discussions can often devolve into endless required posts that students slog through.

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