Discussion: Problems and Pitfalls

We have all had recurring problems in the courses we teach. Sometimes it is due to difficult concepts in the disciplines we teach, skills students always struggle with, or issues related to the media and environments in which we practice our teaching. One of the best ways to work through these problems is to talk through it and see how others have approached them. So let’s do that now. Let’s not only talk through the problems and pitfalls of online teaching we have already experienced or think we will experience, but start thinking through strategies and solutions as well. As we are working on developing higher order learning activities, you might want to think through these strategies and solutions in terms of what you are asking students to do in the course work and also how you are going to assess that work, something we discuss in the next module.

Part 1: In a new posting, share a problem or pitfall you are concerned about. Some ideas that usually generate conversation are:

Technology issues from access to online resources or when things break
Academic integrity and plagiarism
Anxieties about teaching online for the first time
Student conduct
Students lacking motivation or who have “disappeared” in the course
You might have a totally different issue to bring to the table. The goal here is to identify and think through problems we have experienced, and alternatively those we anticipate experiencing while teaching online.

Part 2: Think through the ways that you have either addressed that problem or think through a strategy you might employ to address it in the future. Why or how do you think that strategy will work? This is where we can really help each other out a great deal. Sometimes a strategy used to solve one problem can be employed to solve different problems as well, even across academic disciplines.

Participation Expectations

Each original response to the question for the week must be at least 150 words long and specifically reference some concept or content reference in the coursework for the week.

Read the postings your peers have made and reply to at least TWO individuals by providing them with suggestions for maintaining presence in their online course, making comments or asking questions about effective strategies.

Peer responses should reflect one or more of these types: 1) agreement with extension, 2) an alternative perspective with rationale, or a 3) respectful challenge with counter argument.

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