OK, I really hate the term 'panicgogy', because it bears no relation to what the situation actually is. My observation is that people in our field are demonstrating the opposite of panic. And it's irresponsible to introduce such a term into the discourse. But the article is valuable in noting the trend where experts are advising new online instructors to "do less". It's "means understanding students' practicalities... It's not really realistic to think that students can just show up and start taking class at the same time every day in an online environment." Of course, that never was a reasonable expectation of online learning. Robin DeRosa says it well. "I think the first thing is we are not building online courses or converting your face to face courses to online learning. Really, what we're doing is we are trying to extend a sense of care to our students and trying to build a community that's going to be able to work together to get through the learning challenges that we have." This has always been the case (at least from my perspective). Now is the time we need to ensure it is more widely understood.
This article (12 page PDF) identifies a litany of issues that have surfaced in the literature (and they'll be familiar to readers): a lack of policy direction, inadequate ICT support, lack of training, negative attitudes about e-learning, techno-positivism, and more. The authors also highlight the lack of a guiding theory, and while I am not so certain theory plays such an important role, they nonetheless argue for the value of "exploring the extent to which lack of a guiding theory in e-Learning may have contributed to [some of] the identified challenges especially the inadequate/lack of learner support, interactivity and collaboration in e-Learning." This would indeed be worth investigating.
Here are the four things (quoted, edited):
Solid, well thought-out, good advice.
In a time of crisis like this people need to be told what they can do or perhaps should do. It is important to send a message of empowerment and action. When confronted with a series of "do not" messages there is a danger of being frozen into inaction. So posts like this should be recast as statements leading people in the right direction, rather than the endless task of preventing them from going in the wrong direction. (I posted this as a comment on her post, but it wasn't approved, so I post it here.)
I took part in an online panel on Tuesday and the general tenor of the questions and comments was that online learning is inequitable. Concerns were raised about the exploitation of adjuncts, the need for accessible resources, and how we support those without internet access. This seems to be almost the unanimous response from the educator community; I'm hearing these concerns over and over. And they are valid concerns, and our failure to address them properly over the last 25 years is reprehensible.
But my concern today is that constant expression of these concerns will freeze well-meaning people into inaction. Things like this: "Washington’s higher-poverty districts are simply closing. With no plan. In large part, this seems to be in response to the conundrum over requirements under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act." And that's exactly the wrong thing. Instead of voicing complaints, we should be responding like Heather Ross does regarding academic integrity: when we raise a concern, calmly describe how to address it. And do so in a way that allows everyone to be able to address the concern, not just those with resources.
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