Interaction preferences of distance learners in Turkey

Ozsari G., AYDIN C. H.

OPEN LEARNING, 2021 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/02680513.2021.1981279
  • Journal Name: OPEN LEARNING
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, Periodicals Index Online, EBSCO Education Source, Education Abstracts, Educational research abstracts (ERA), ERIC (Education Resources Information Center), Library and Information Science Abstracts, Library, Information Science & Technology Abstracts (LISTA), Psycinfo
  • Keywords: Interaction, interaction types, learner interaction preferences, course design, Interaction Equivalency Theorem, LEARNING INTERACTION, ONLINE, SATISFACTION, PARTICIPATION, ENGAGEMENT, PATTERNS, SYSTEM
  • Anadolu University Affiliated: Yes


Technological advances allow open and distance learning (ODL) providers to offer all kinds of interaction opportunities for their students. In Turkey, different institutions adopt different interaction types in ODL services mostly because of legal procedures and a shortage of experience in ODL. Learning more about students' preferences and needs might be helpful for achieving better satisfaction and deeper learning. The scarcity of research on distance learners' preferences of interaction type was the main motive for this study. Thus, this study aims to investigate the interaction preferences of ODL learners and explore the interactions between these preferences and their demographic characteristics. An online questionnaire based on the Interaction Equivalency Theorem was implemented to the 696 ODL learners in one of the major ODL providers in Turkey. The results revealed that learners mostly preferred to interact more with the content in their distance courses while they asked for more interaction with the instructors in the face-to-face courses. Analyses showed no statistically significant relationship between interaction type preferences, and gender, number of children, and marital status. However, a statistically significant relationship was observed between the interaction type preferences of the learners and their age, occupation, admission type, and place of residence.