Online teaching disillusionment

I’ve heard that some faculty members who are seasoned teachers have resentment over the perception that technology is driving pedagogy, not vice versa.  I understand this disillusionment.  But the learning environment changes when you move online.  Everything is different online, and those things that are valued in the traditional teaching environment (by the faculty member) will not be as effective in the online classroom.  It’s not a reflection of the way they teach face-to-face, it’s more of an acknowledgment that people engage each other and the learning process differently online than we do in-person.

Offering online courses that are centered around recorded lecture captured in another class setting is like trying to run in water.  It is possible to do, but it’s inefficient and rather ineffective.  Once we learn to swim, however, we can maneuver quickly and do whatever we want in the water.  Swimming isn’t the same as running and vice versa.  Similarly, teaching online isn’t the same as teaching face-to-face.  It takes a different skill set and perspective (learner-centered, not teacher-centered).  It can, however, be learned!

Maybe that analogy isn’t so helpful.  Do you have a better one?

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2 Responses to Online teaching disillusionment

  1. It think that the running vs. swimming metaphor really works. I’ll be using that one.

    My my experience, teaching online requires more deliberate interactions with my students. It’s a bit more like coaching a team. Sometimes you are communicating with the whole team, but a lot of your time is spent in individual interactions helping each player develop their skills.

    What has surprised me the most is that students I had in a residential class setting, who did not feel comfortable sharing their thoughts, are much more likely to share them online. Students I might not have had a chance to interact with during a in-class lecture will initiate conversations. Usually, we get to dig deeper into the subject matter and often in more targeted ways.

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