“Would you ever say that to me in class?” : Exploring the Implications of Disinhibition for Relationality in Online Teaching and Learning

Ellen Rose, OptimalScholarship, May 11, 2014
Commentary by Stephen Downes

This paper confirms the impression that discourse online is much less inhibited than discourse in person. "Interviews with 20 instructors and 20 students from a variety of disciplines revealed that their experiences of connection with, or disconnection from, each other were profoundly influenced by the phenomenon of online disinhibition." What is important about this is that it informs our understanding of the nature of education, whether online or offline. "The terminology of “delivery” ... suggests that education is simply a matter of transmitting information effectively; but of course, it is also, importantly, about the formation of relationships between instructors and students."

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