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ERIC Number: EJ1202865
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2019
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0009-1383
Easy Preparation for Online Courses: Why Professors as Educators Should Be Anxious about Becoming Non-Essential
Johnson, David
Change: The Magazine of Higher Learning, v51 n1 p7-13 2019
There is a growing and inexplicable trend among professors to voluntarily fade into the online pedagogical background and allow someone--or something--to do the teaching for them. The professoriate should be concerned about three kinds of online courses that require minimal preparation: YouTube courses, PowerPoint courses, and publisher courses. Content that is packaged, delivered, and assessed by a third entity is not the kind of knowledge construction that universities should engage in. Sometimes "covering" a subject is not enough to develop a deep understanding of complex issues. There must be a deeper dive into the content in order for students to be able to evaluate it critically. Online courses can afford students the opportunity to do this, but few students will recognize, much less seize, this opportunity if professors continue to abdicate their teaching role. And abdication becomes more than a pedagogical shortcut; it becomes an epistemological failure. This article suggests that the uncritical embrace of online courses may lead to an undesirable outcome: the elimination of university professors as educators. The author suggests ways to increase instructor presence in online courses by combining interactive technology with traditional pedagogical strategies. The author offers the following general suggestions for curbing the tide of pedagogical absenteeism in online courses: Professors must resist the temptation of easy preparation; lectures should be interactive, which is easily achieved with increasingly sophisticated technology; personalized feedback on activities adds another layer of interactivity and instructor presence in a way that simply linking to a website cannot; simple greetings work well; and professors' humor, dedication, and passion should shine through whatever method or technology is used.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A