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What is it?

Connecting in an engaging way by truly listening, having empathy, and understanding the perspective of others such that the learners’ ways of knowing have deepened or changed in a meaningful way.

Why is it important?

Meaningful interaction is needed to effectively manage conflict, collaborate, influence, and create a sense of belonging and community.

Why does a business professional need to know this?

Interaction is a critical attribute for anyone in business. If you are only hearing, rather than listening, you can miss important information, leading to situations such as: developing a solution for the wrong problem, losing talented individuals, or being unable to lead change or move a project successfully forward.

Good interactions also enable you to build human relationships of trust, which you need to effectively give and receive feedback, mentor and coach, and sustain and build business relationships.

In the learning context, some forms of learning content rely on the use of interaction to enhance the experience of learning. Good interaction can also trigger a brain response that aids learners in their ability to absorb and retain content.

The meaning of the term interaction changes depending on the type of learning content experienced. For example, in an in-person class, it might be defined as exchanges between learners, such as group work, role playing, or simulation practice. In a self-paced learning context, it is defined by the way the learner uses or experiences the interface, including interactions such as completing the content in the order that they choose, responding to items or questions, or providing feedback upon completion.


About Patrice Torcivia Prusko

Photo of Patrice Torcivia Prusko

Patrice Torcivia Prusko is Director of Learning Design, Technology and Media within the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She leads the design, development and project management of online and technology-enhanced courses, including the school's first fully online degree program. Patrice holds a BS degree in mechanical engineering, an MBA from Union College, and a PhD in curriculum and instruction from the University at Albany - State University of New York. She researches and presents on compassion fatigue, supporting women in STEM, equitable and inclusive design practices, and global education.

Term: Interaction



Twitter: @profpatrice