Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Danger of Online Teacher Overcompensation

Re-read the overview of Rena Palloff's and Keith Pratt's "Building Online Learning Communities" in preparation for a course I'm teaching.  Really struck by the following quote:

"Many teachers feel that the online classroom is simply not as robust or rigorous and not worthy of consideration, a belief that has caused those of us who teach online to overcompensate and create classes so full of content and activities that sometimes our students simply cannot keep up."

Hmmm... very true.  It's the same as when you are 16, and your parents hesitantly give you the car keys, assuming the worst.  And you drive the speed limit and signal a full 10 seconds before changing lanes, and keep more than proper following distance, all in the efforts to prove yourself a safe driver.

This having to prove yourself ends up having a detrimental effect on the student and the effectiveness of the course, and becomes just as much an issue as the lack of robustness in the first place.

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