Thursday, March 4, 2010

e-Learning - Don't do This to your Online Students

More and more I find myself looking for ways, activities, resources that will help me connect with my online students in meaningful ways. It's always a challenge, but when you hit it, the results are extremely rewarding. When you get your students to respond to a challenging, extra activity, heaven. Just like in any classroom, part of the job of learning is on the learner. However, there is that percentage which is teacher-driven. In any setting, students must feel they belong, imagine online!

This video which I learned about via , a blog where you certainly will spend, but not waste time, shows exactly what is disconnection, lack of a motivating environment, feeling of isolation, not a teacher presence to guide, facilitate the learning process.Don't Do This to your Students!


  1. I've taken several courses like this. It is very discouraging. I am currently enrolled at a private university, each course costs $1700. I've taken four courses online so far. Two of them were awful. The instructors, called 'facilitators' did not paticipate in the discussion fourms, provide timely feedback on assignments, respond to emails, and simply copied and pasted the answers for the exerices directly from the instructor's guide. They didn't bother to take the time to provide personal feedback on assignments. Unfortunately, I am an MBA student and half-way through my course work. I would lose time and credots if I transferred at this point. I am the type of student thtat does not require constant one-on-one attention, but I am insulted by the total lack of effort the instructor puts into the course. Some examples: 1.the syllabus references a case study for another course, the facilitator didn't bother to make the correction, leaving some students uncertain of what exactly they were supposed to do that week for that assignment.
    2. The weblinks on the weekly assignment page were 'broken', outdated and inaccessable.
    3. The facilitator posted a demo of an accounting procedure for students to reference when completing an assignment. The demo was of an instructor building an .xls spreadsheet and creating formulas to use when performing a particular financial analysis. The text was illegible. Severul students tried exporting it to Real Player and similar programs, it was still illegible. I emailed the instructor. It took her 3 days to get back to me and her email read 'Please let me know if you need additional help.' At that point, I went out and bought a book on financial analysis for .xls.
    Now, I'm paying $1700 per course. I feel that despite the fact that I am actually paying for instruction on this topic, I still have to teach myself. Why pay $1700? Why bother trying to interact with uninterested instructors?

  2. Dear Kathy, I totally understand how insulted you are! Once I took an online course in an American University, graduate level, and I was horrified to realize that one of my courses in Technology was how to use Powerpoint, word and excel! Come on! I didn't need to take a course to learn that! Well, just like you, I was already taking the course, and couldn't quit at that point, had also paid almost as much as you. My only option? To do what was requested, but trying to learn something new. Learning new tricks to old tools. So, I decided, for example, to go beyond the basics of power point and learn how to work best with it in terms of design, layout. It worked! Though I was by myself, getting poor feedback, not timely at all, I was satisfied with the results I set to myself. At the end of the course, I decided to send a long email to the director of education at the university. I got to know him through my online network. He was glad I gave him some feedback and told me his action plan based on it. Well, I couldn't change things when I was taking the course, but my hope was that the next students would have more luck. Who knows? The only pity is that I shouldn't have to pay for that...


Conversations are sparklers for deepening thoughts and maturing ideas. Share, connect, leave a comment. I'd love to hear from you. To follow up on the comments here, click on the "subscribe via email" below the comment box, on the right.