Chapter Two Reading

As I wrote in my previous post, I’ve started reading Minds Online: Teaching Effectively with Technology by Michelle D. Miller as part of a reading group on campus where I work.  I’ve always had an interest in teaching methods and pedagogy, so I thought participating in the reading group would be a good way for me to get back into that mode of thinking.

Chapter two of the book delved more into breaking down the components of best practices for effective instruction overall, then comparing and contrasting face-to-face teaching and online instruction based on those criteria and the findings of some notable studies.

I thought the section on methods for discouraging from students cheating was especially interesting–particularly the mention of how high-stakes assignments tend to encourage cheating.  And that a relatively simple remedy of offering students more opportunities to succeed through frequent lower-stakes assignments discourages cheating–as well as increases mastery.  It seems deceptively simple in its effectiveness.

I also learned the term for the fatigue working professionals experience after a full day at work and managing their personal lives–and the toll it can take on their investment in an asynchronous online program.  It’s called the “third-shift effect”.

I thought Miller’s point about ensuring a buy-in from a learning institution’s IT department cannot be overstated.  Speaking from personal experience, I’ve seen first-hand what can go wrong when department administrators and/or faculty don’t communicate their IT-related needs and expectations–and, conversely, when academic IT departments are not proactive about advertising their services or reaching out to faculty to learn their IT needs.

Next up: Chapters three and four.