Online education is not easy. I know that I often don’t feel like I am doing the job that I think I should be doing for my students. Part of my trouble is that I often just don’t feel like I have enough time to do the job that I want to do for my students. But sometimes it is more about not knowing exactly what I should be doing.
Here are eight tasks that we maybe need to try and fulfill in our modules.
- Tour guide
Teachers guide students through the learning experience
- Cheer leader
Encourage students to keep doing what they are doing, or to get more involved in the module.
- Learning coach
Teachers should give students opportunities to experience and practice skills under guidance.
- Individual and group mirror
Students need feedback on how they are doing.
- Social butterfly
Like a great party host, teachers need to facilitate social interactions in the online space.
- Big brother
Check up on students who are not engaging with the course, or who have missed important pages.
- Valve control
Control the pace at which students are able to access and engage with work.
Teachers should never stop learning
(For a video to perhaps hold in tension with this, see Sugata Mitra speaking on the future of education, and a pedagogy that relies in some ways on the absence of the teacher)
What would happen if we were to take these functions and put them into a marking rubric for ourselves? How would we score as online educators? Take a few moments to think about your personal style and workload in class. Maybe score yourself on a scale of 0 – 5 for the above 8 tasks. How happy are you with your self-assessment?