Direct Instruction in Online Classes

by Tammy Ball 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Hi, all. I apologize if we've had this discussion before here or in a previous meeting but we were meeting with faculty today in a training session and the question came up about using a video lecture with built-in questions as substantive interaction. I did see the response from DOE on this very question and they did say that a video lecture could be used along with a Q&A session by the instructor to fulfill the substantive interaction requirement but does the Q&A session have to be synchronous or can they use a Q&A forum? Does this constitute "direct instruction" or would this fall under the component for "responding to questions". I think I know the answer to this but wanted to get feedback from others on this before we respond to the faculty. Thank you!

Jo James 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Tammy,

I believe that the Q&A session can be synchronous or asynchronous (like a forum) - as long at the teacher interacts with the students during the sesssion. If only the student post and reply in the forum (Q&A or any other forum type) and the instructor does not interact, you are back into the grey area. The interactive video could count as direct instruction (it depends on the content of the video), which will meet one of the Dept of Ed requirements for Substantive Interaction.

I'm curious to see what other folks think.

Tammy Ball 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Thanks for your response, Jo. What components or elements are we looking for in an interactive video that would consistitute direction instruction?

Jo James 5 months, 3 weeks ago

To count as substantive interaction, the video needs to be course content specific and provide direct instruction about that content. I suggest (to my faculty) that it not be an overivew of prior material or general announcements. I believe that overview of prior material aligns more closely with feedback than direct instruction.

Michele Domenech 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Tammy,

I agree with Jo. The Q&A does count as substantive interaction as long as the instructor responds to the forum and "interacts" with the students in the forum. If the number of students is large, as I have some large sections, I may do a collective response to the forum and address the answers to the Q & A either in my own post and ask for further response to my response to them OR post an announcement with my response to their responses, pointing out their strong, poignant points and critical thinking pulled from the lecture or video, for example.

Tammy Ball 5 months, 3 weeks ago

Thank you for this information, Michele. Some of options to meet Substantive Interaction are pretty straight forward but we've had much debate here on what would count as direct instruction. What would you guys consider direct instruction in a fully online course (asychronous)? It sounds like the faculty in fully online courses, should focus on the other components for Substantive Interaction for meeting this requirement. What do you guys think?

Jo James 5 months, 3 weeks ago

In a fully online course, direct instruction can take many forms. Such as assigned reading, videos that related to the course content (like narrated powerpoints or interactive H5P activities), etc,

I found a pretty good defintion of Direct Instruction from edglossary.org (opens in a new window). The resource is in general terms, but it can be applied to  instruction in various modalities. What's nice is that it does address the debate about direction instruction from an active learning and passive learning approach.

I think that most courses have direct instruction inherently present, it's hard to think about how you would not have it. But if you want to focus on the other components, it would definitely strenthen the defense that you meet at least 2 of the SI requirements.

Hope this helps.