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Student to Student Interactions

Student to student

When planning student-to-student interaction,

  • Design activities that are structured and collaborative with clear instructions and expectations.
  • Determine whether and how activities will be assessed. 
  • Ensure that your student to student activities are accessible and inclusive.

Research has demonstrated that student interaction, in online courses, is associated with enhanced critical thinking skills (Guiller, Durndell, & Ross, 2008), increased satisfaction (Jung, Choi, Lim, & Leem, 2002), and higher levels of academic achievement (Swan, 2002). 

In an online environment, instructors can foster student-to-student interaction by building opportunities into their course design synchronously and asynchronously. To promote student to student interaction, and to build community, ensure the opportunities for interaction are structured, collaborative, and inclusive.

Creating successful student-to-student activities

Below are some strategies that will help create positive and productive interactions between your student.


Teaching a large class?

Take a look at our guide to google docBuilding Community in Large Classes: Social Presence, external link for some tips.


Guiller, J., Durndell, A., & Ross, A. (2008). Peer interaction and critical thinking: Face-to-face or online discussion?. Learning and instruction, 18(2), 187-200.

Jung, I., Choi, S., Lim, C., & Leem, J. (2002). Effects of different types of interaction on learning achievement, satisfaction and participation in web-based instruction. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 39(2), 153-162.

Swan, K. (2002). Building learning communities in online courses: The importance of interaction. Education, Communication & Information, 2(1), 23-49.