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Draw Back to Online Teaching

You know your stuff, you taught for years, the course is the same, what could possibly be a draw back to teaching on-line.  Welllll, I found out this past winter.  We had a blizzard 3- 6 feet of snow.  Everyone is stranded but having some great one on one time with their families and almost carefree attitudes.  Food was a-plenty, gas, electric and phones still worked and it was December!



That's very true!  The flexibility of online teaching allows us to work from home in our pj's if we want to.  We don't have the excuse of not being able to commute when our commute simply involves walking downstairs to our office.  Good point.

One concern I have with teaching online is establishing defined limits on how long I stay on line in the wee hours of the morning. Because it's so convenient to log in and complete work anytime sometimes it can be taken for granted. I think maybe setting a set time of hours which you are available on line is one solution.

I find that teaching online gives me the freedom to be online from anywhere at anytime.  So, for me, this is a benefit.  I'm doing what I like and typically in an environment that I like (such as on the couch with my cats).  I can go away on holiday and still be doing my job during the typical 'down' times and/or in the same room where activity is going on so I don't feel like I missed something.  I only wish I could be employed full-time as an online instructor. 

I can relate to your predicament, Alicia!  My husband says I am a work-a-holic.  I suppose that's true of doing anything you like doing.

I think online teaching has advantages and disadvantages just like it every situation, event, or issue. But one of the biggest concerns is self motivation. Will students be motivated to get up in the middle of the day or night and complete their assignments, will they put in the extra effort, and produce a quality assignment,or will they rush through the assignment trying to beat the clock on the computer. Yes, you have the freedom to do your work in the pleasure of your own home, but what if the student has a question about their assignment their is no face to face interaction with the instructor and student. I enjoy the flexiblity of online but I am a traditional student and I need face to face discussion, because their is a difference from when someone speaks to you and when you read the material. The question is which one will you remember more.

Kenya - I just read your posting.  You are correct, I'm new to the teaching profession, but am watching my wife struggle with a few Master's level courses, and even my son missed a key suspense on an online course he is taking as a student at the University of Florida.  I am like you.  If a course is very simple, it seems to me that it is conducive to online learning, but I could not see myself taking a complex online course.  I am taking my time with this (CEE) program and so far have not struggled too much.  I think the online instructor must clearly state times when they will be available and all critical timelines must be clearly understood (that is not as easy as it sounds!).  I also think there must be some degree of flexibility...invariably, I have seen my wife's computer crash at the absolute worst times - so much so, she has actually cried - and she is a tough lady!   Anyway, this is a good tool, and seems like it should be easy, but it is absolutely essential to "think through" everything that can go wrong and establish a work around.

Yes, teaching online does require a good measure of project management skills and a very effective technology contingency plan. I find that commuting 12 feet to my office is very convenient. I am also a home school mom with 6 students ranging in age from 6 to 19. Working as an online instructor, home school mom, and small business owner all under one roof allows me to manage my schedule according to the needs of all my students. I love the ease with which I can conduct online college students, and my family education efforts and still leave time to persue my Ph. D. in Education specializing in Education Technology. Creative time management and technology skills development is critical to success in online education efforts. I do not pretend to be perfect, just tenacious. I really love the online Max Knowledge courses through CEE. The ED101 course was quite enjoyable and I am now enrolled in the ED102 course. I expect this will be an ongoing component of my professional development.

I teach online in an adjunct capacity, but I have also taught for 5 years in a full time capacity on-ground.  I find that many of my online students try to do the tasks without doing the reading or listening to the live or recorded chats.  No matter how much I stress participation, there is always a few that do not, and then those few complain about their grades. Any advice?

Justin: I know the feeling.  I teach on campus and many of my students do not read the material either and still expect to pass the course.  I too would like to know how to get students to realize the importance of reading assignments prior to going over it in class so they can come prepared with questions about things they did nto understand and be able to add relevant discussion to the class.  It really enhances participation and engagement. 

There is no interaction and personal touch in on line teaching.

Provided that the communication between the facilitator and the learners appropriately links to the subject, it should be easier to determine whether or not the learners are comprehending core concepts.

Although face-to-face interaction gives rise to instructor/learner reaction to body language, online learning/teaching sets a different type of boundary. No sad faces or tears to contend with...just matter-of-fact information that hopefully has substantial supporting examples.        

I find what an online classroom can provide is a refreshing lack of 'he said/she said.'  Students are not distracted by what their classmates are wearing, their skin tone, or in-class relationships.  This change can allow the student to concentrate more on the assignment and learning. 

However, since humans are social creatures, it is still important to develop some sort of online culture to provide encouragement and stress relief to the classrooms.  Without physical measures to judge by, these communities are more 'pure' with their interaction than what a physical based classroom can provide.

I think online learning is fantastic.  It allows students that have babysitting, car problem, and motivation issues to sit in their own homes on the couch and do their lessons.  It is hard especially for single parents to find caregivers to attend school everyday and not to mention if they work, finding time around the job and family.  I think in the future we will see more and more online degrees than ever before.

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