Listen as Dr. J offers encouragement for educators at the start of the new year, and discusses the importance of a positive mindset when working with learners.
It's the start of a new year and time when many people begin to reflect upon the previous year. This when there are numerous reflective articles and television shows dedicated to looking back at the prior year, asking us to consider what we've learned, gained, and lost from 2020. Here's a thought: Let's forget 2020 and just move on.
I believe we all can agree, 2020 was one of the worst years in our collective histories, and one we would rather forget. To think of going back in time and remembering what we endured, is asking to self-inflict even more pain than is necessary. Now more than ever, let's just move forward. However, it may be easier said than done. This is when a purposeful strategy can help pull you out of 2020 mentally and into 2021, ready to feel a sense of...Continue reading »
We live in an unprecedented time with higher education being disrupted, as traditional classes are being moved online, at least for the time being. Whether or not this will continue for any length of time remains to be seen. This has occurred at an interesting time for the field of distance learning as many of the for-profit schools have closed, and the growth of new online schools has slowed. The number of online schools growing is limited, and competition comes from traditional schools offering online classes.
With a move of traditional classes to an online platform, there is a challenge for many educators to adapt to a virtual environment. Those educators who teach in this environment already, such as myself, are already accustomed to creating a virtual presence. However,...Continue reading »
"You cannot interact with students and be devoid of emotions." – Dr. Bruce A. Johnson
Emotions are present in every aspect of our communication, whether or not we are aware of the existence of it. For example, you are having an emotional reaction right now as you read this opening introduction.
You either feel a sense of connection to what you are reading, and want to continue, or you believe you already know enough about the subject and feel it would not be worth your time to continue.
When I refer to having emotions present with all communication, both written and spoken, it does not mean you are having an extreme emotional reaction. Rather it means you are reacting in a particular manner about what it is you are feeling or hearing, and you are...Continue reading »
Our country has been in turmoil. People have been taught, and continue to be taught, to see differences and evaluate each other based upon what side they are on or support. The weight of the many issues faced by society as a whole is being felt by everyone. This is in addition to the pandemic which is not just going away, it is intensifying. There's no one left untouched by the impact of what has occurred this year.
As an educator, I'm witnessing first-hand the effect of these many issues and challenges on the students I teach within online classes. Before this year occurred, the typical academic-related challenges may have been related to preparedness to learn in a virtual environment, motivation to complete required tasks while holding other responsibilities, and successfully...Continue reading »
Students fear failure. It's not just a failing grade many students fear; it can be the fear of not receiving a perfect score each week for all required learning activities. I've worked with many doctoral learners who earn less than 100 points for their discussion posts in a previous week and believe they have failed. All they can focus on is the loss of points, even if it just six or eight points. The same holds true for written assignments. A less than perfect grade somehow indicates failure because "they have worked really hard", "put a lot of effort into the assignment", and "should be awarded full points". Some learners may believe I have somehow been excessively critical or nit-picking with my feedback, when it did not meet their expectations.
I attempt to change the...Continue reading »
The shift to virtual learning which occurred in 2020 may have changed higher education in a profound manner, even after the crisis that caused the transition to occur is finally resolved. Students who have never taken an online class now realize they can learn in this manner. Yet many educators who never taught in this environment understand teaching online is not easier than teaching in a traditional classroom. A lack of visual and verbal cues presents an immediate learning curve for anyone who is just starting to teach online. In addition, the learning management system alone cannot be relied upon as the reason why students succeed in this type of environment. However, virtual learning has already established a proven track record of meeting the needs of students.
One of the...Continue reading »
Listen as Dr. J talks about the importance of beliefs, for educators and learners.