Reciprocal events that require at least two artefacts and two actions. Interactions occur when these artefacts and events mutually influence one another. A learning interaction is an event that takes place between a learner and the learner's environment. Its purpose is to respond to the learner in a way intended to change his or her behavior toward a learning objective. Learning interactions have two purposes: to change learners and to move them toward achieving their goals (Wagner 1994).

Source: WP5 - glossary

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It seems that the definition of interaction presented here differs in at least to points from Wagner's definition (Wagner, E. D. (1994). In support of a functional definition of interaction. The American Journal of Distance Education, 8(2), 6-29). In the original definition the term 'object' is used instead of 'artifact', and Wagner uses the term 'instructional interaction' instead of 'learning interaction'.

From my point of view there are two issues that need further clarification here: 1. Irrespective of whether we use the term 'object' or 'artefact', it is far from clear 'who' is supposed to interact with 'what' or 'whom' here. As it does not seem appropriate to use the label interaction for such diverse things as human-human communication and collaboration, human-computer interaction, or information exchange between technical artifacts I would suggest to replace this concept by more specific ones. 2. It seems to be important to carefully distinguish between instruction and learning here. While the definition makes sense with regard to instruction, it is hard to grasp with respect to learning. While instruction can be understood as an intervention aimed to trigger a learning process the learning process does not have to be goal-directed nor even intentional. Therefore to label an interaction as a learning interaction might be misleading.

--Christoph Richter, 19-Jul-2006

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This page (revision-6) last changed on 18:24 25-Mar-2017 by Christoph Richter.

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Learning Activity

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