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Strategies: Dealing with student expectations

Strategies: Dealing with student expectations


It’s still a relatively new way
of learning for many, I have students who have never
taken an internet course before. And so the expectations
are all over the place. So I have a discussion forum
where they post their expectations. I go, “What are your expectations?” Even before the first day of the class
they email me, they find me, they hunt me down, they find my email and, “George, I noticed
that there’s going to be group work. How do you do group work in online?
How does that work?” Because their mindset, their expectations
come from classroom experience. If they don’t see you active online
in terms of posting announcements, posting in the main discussion board, you know,
“nice idea” just so students know you’re there, they want to know that the instructor’s there. And reassuring them, a lot of reassurance
at the beginning, that’s going to be okay. There’s expectation that as an internet
instructor I’m online every day, 24 hours a day,
like we’re always there. I’m like, “No”, you know,
in a classroom an instructor is there for maybe three
hours a week to lecture. I’m online Monday, Wednesday, Friday,
3 times a week. I’m off duty on weekends, so if there’s
something, if you post a question or an email to me on a friday night, I may not get to it till
Monday or Tuesday, so… students, another skill that they need to
develop is planning their communication. I give them a week or two to post
their expectations in this forum, then I post, here’s the reality, right… So compare your personal expectations
to the realities of online learning. So that way right at the start
they have more realistic expectations and wind up
with less frustration. Because if their expectations
are unrealistic or too high, they’re going to be
frustrated down the road.

Comments (3)

  1. Establishing clear expectations of students and the teacher is important, but treating students like individuals (especially in adult education) is equally important. Some of the advice (more so the tone) offered in this video seems very teacher-centered, and not very student-friendly. The tone implies that all students are inconsiderate of their teacher's time, and that they are poor planners. This is not the case. I am an instructor at the post-secondary level and am able to attest to that.

  2. Great ideas. It is important expectations for both student and instructor are clear. I will incorporate these ideas into my online course. Thank you.

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