Interaction in satellite-based corporate distance training.
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Maintaining an educated, high performance workforce has become a particularly daunting challenge in the highly volatile knowledge-based economy. A growing number of companies currently use one-way video, two-way audio satellite technology to make training more accessible to employees in different locations, shorten the time lag between course development and course delivery, and to provide real-time interaction. However, the provision for live interaction makes satellite one of the most expensive, complex, and difficult of instructional technologies to implement effectively. Although the general benefits of interaction in education are well documented, few studies have attempted to apply theoretical frameworks of interaction to the substantive area of corporate distance training. This study was undertaken using the grounded theory method of qualitative inquiry. Its purpose was two-fold: to examine, through empirical data, the importance of interaction in corporate satellite training, using constructs for interaction proposed by Moore (1989). Hillman et al. (1994) and others in order to generate a theoretical framework to guide distance training practitioners; and to apply an Instructional Systems Design (ISD) approach in identifying instructional strategies for maintaining learner interest and involvement in one-way video, two-way audio satellite-based training. The study's prime focus was to understand learners'perceptions of four types of interaction and their relationship to learner satisfaction with the overall training experience. Qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis were used, including a Flanders-type interaction analysis of five satellite training sessions and semi-structured interviews with 19 learners. The study describes the defining features and instructional strategies employed in the practice of satellite training at a Bank. It discusses advantages and limitations in designing interaction in satellite training and concludes that different types of training applications are characterized by different interaction profiles. This study identifies five factors which impact learners'motivation to participate in interactive activities and proposes a theoretical framework to allow distance training professionals control over the structure and process of interaction in satellite training.