The introduction of digital tools to a distance education environment often creates tensions due to students' past educational experiences and can require a shift in their concepts of the lecturers' and learners' responsibilities. The purpose of the study was to determine how well distance education students adapt to interactive online learning strategies requiring collaboration with peers. Data was collected via two surveys and analysis of student interaction with various digital tools such as chat, wiki, and virtual classroom environments. The results show that while there was some resistance initially to the use of collaborative strategies, most participants in this Early Childhood course reported benefits in using interactive tools for collaboration with their peers. Analysis of satisfaction in the end-of course survey showed that students strongly agreed with the premise that learning is enhanced by discussion and peer interaction, and can be achieved with online learning tools.
- Online distance education