Phaedrus Redux

The Chronicle of Higher Ed has published a special report on “Faculty Views of Online Learning” that contains various statistics.

One set called “Amount of Effort Required to Teach or Develop an Online Course” reveals that the vast majority of faculty consider developing online courses takes “a lot more” effort, while attitudes of the effort towards the actual teaching of online courses are pretty evenly spread throughout “about the same,” “somewhat more,” and “a lot more.”  I’m hesitant to dismiss online courses as simply being more difficult to develop without the variable of technological setbacks that current pedagogy has not yet fully attended to.  On a side note, it’s nice to infer that teachers are spending more time on the development of their online course rather than the teaching of the resulting class itself (process over product?).

Another set of statistics called “How Faculty Members Rate Online Courses vs. Traditional, Face-to-Face Interaction” shows that, out of those who have taught online courses, about half consider the online course to be “inferior,” about a third “the same,” and a small minority “superior.”  Again, I would attribute this to technological setbacks–if not, outright anxieties–at the faculty end.

In my graduate “Teaching Writing in a Digital Age” class, we (both faculty and graduate students) fumbled around with using digital technologies.  As I’m teaching a new media unit in my FYC class, I find that I’m having to ask my students how to do certain things, while I offer them what I know of academic and rhetorical moves.  It’s almost a picture-perfect Freirean learning community of the student-teacher and teacher-students.  So, Chronicle, when do we get to see statistics of “Student Views of Online Learning”?


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