An important factor in online learning is how students are afforded opportunities for interactions to create their own knowledge and attain high levels of student satisfaction. In open distance learning, three types of interaction were initially distinguished: interaction with content, with the lecturer and with fellow students. As technology plays an essential role in online learning, interaction with technology was added. This study was conducted at an open distance learning institution using a blended learning approach. Since it was the first fully online course for first-year Education students, the purpose of the study was to determine students’ experiences of their learning in order to consider how offering the course online might affect their satisfaction and academic success. Within a connectivist paradigm, the research used a case study involving questionnaires with closed and open-ended questions. Findings confirmed the value of interaction on all levels and pointed towards the challenges in interaction with technology. Based on these findings, the study suggests that lecturers should consider the contexts of students when planning and designing online courses. As a result, it remains the university’s responsibility to put systems in place to support and prepare students.
Student interaction, context, open distance learning, student-centeredness, online learning