3 ways to improve classroom dialogue to decrease Transactional Distance

Transactional Distance gives us an answer to the question: why is instructing students so hard? 

There exists a psychological disconnection between the teacher and learner. Successful teaching and meaningful learning occurs when we bridge this gap.  The gap is defined as transactional distance or an area of interaction where confusion can arise.  There are three variables that an educator can control to decrease Transactional Distance: dialogue, structure, and learner autonomy. See the last post for more information regarding the rationale for our investigation.

As productive dialogue increases, transactional distance decreases.  Dialogue is more than talking.  It involves listening, responding, and conversing.  Productive dialogue is any interaction that leads to greater student understanding.

The Distance Learning Monthly Newsletter will thoroughly discuss the impact of dialogue on Transactional Distance in TV teaching. This article applies the idea to a traditional setting.  The goal is to deepen dialogue to make it more productive.

An answer to the question: why is instruction hard?

The Pragmatic TV Teacher begins a three part series addressing Transactional Distance Theory (TDT).  Though used for Distance Education, TDT has important information for traditional classroom teachers.

Picture your classroom filled with students.  You take a deep breath while peering into their apathetic eyes.  I can’t believe I have to do this” violently bounces around your brain.  What is it, specifically, you have to do?  Teach a lesson… collect homework… transition into cooperative groups?  You have to instruct them.