If you’re new to online instruction, it’s important to examine the assumptions that guide your development of an online course. This module will give you a starting point by addressing some common myths and their (perhaps counter-intuitive) realities.
A few common myths
MYTH: “Online learning means my students have more time to spend on their coursework.”
REALITY: Students learning remotely still have other courses demanding their attention, and they’re more likely to be expected to help out around the house. Students who are caring for parents or younger siblings may have less free time at home than they do on campus.
MYTH: “Students have an easier time with technology than I do.”
REALITY: Students’ comfort levels with new technology varies widely, and the pressure of needing to learn a new system in order to succeed in a course can be very stressful.
MYTH: “Synchronous is always best.”
REALITY: Virtual synchronous class meeting can be a great way to engage students, but they present obstacles for students who are in different time zones, who have care-taking responsibilities, who don’t have a private and quiet space, who don’t have great internet connections, and who with paying attention to their screen for long stretches. It’s important to offer asynchronous alternatives to synchronous meetings whenever possible.
MYTH: “Monitoring students while they take exams is the only way to prevent cheating.”
REALITY: Online exam proxying services stress students out and present major security and privacy risks. A much better solution is to retool assessment methods.
This interactive narrative, based on the experiences of real Trinity students, will let you explore some of the challenges of online learning during Spring 2020.