The Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education

Comparing and Contrasting the Interactional Performance of Teachers and Students in Traditional and Virtual Classrooms of Advanced Writing Course in Distance Education University

Naeimeh ASADI
Razieh Rabbani YEKTA

Since interaction provides the opportunity for students to share their ideas, thoughts, comments and feelings with their peers and teacher, it can be claimed that it is an integral component of learning. The present study applied the Sinclair and Coulthard’s interaction (IRF) (1975) model on the English learners of two traditional and virtual classes in order to investigate the differences between their writing scores in these two classes on the one hand, and the extent to which the IRF structure occurs in these two classes on the other hand. For this purpose, 79 and 20 intermediate level EFL learners were selected from the virtual and traditional classes of Payame Noor University (PNU). They were given the pre-test at the beginning and post-test after eight sessions of the same treatment in both classes by the same instructor. Their pre- and post-test scores were compared. The results indicated that there was a significant difference between the participants’ post-test scores in two classes in terms of three components of the intended six components of the five-paragraph essay. This study concluded that the participants in the virtual class performed better than their peers in the traditional one. Moreover, the number of interactions between the participants and teacher was more in the virtual class. Since the effect of interaction between the students and teacher on better performance and learning was shown in this study, other teachers can take into consideration the importance of interaction as well as technology for better teaching-learning process.

KEYWORDS: Discourse analysis, interaction, IRF, traditional class, virtual class.

DOI : 10.17718/tojde.640552