Managing learner behavior in the online classroomPresentation Transcript
Managing OnlineLearner Behavior in theOnline ClassroomMartha SchwerJennifer LewisMadison Area Technical CollegePreparing to Teach Online
What’s the Relationship of Online Environmentand Misbehavior?2MisbehaviorOnlineFeeling distant fromthe instructor,course, and otherstudents makes ithard to considerothers or imaginetheir viewpoints.Non-demandingonline courses meanlow emotionalinvestment in thecourse; invitescheating.Unclear instructorexpectations onlinecan lead tounintentionalviolation of “norms”in teacher’s (or otherstudents’) head.Drinking, tiredness,multi-tasking, ormobile difficulty canresult in poorjudgment.Impatience withemail responsetime can short-circuit asking crucialquestions andcrucial conversationsprior to mis-behavior.MotivationProblems related tolearner’s pastexperiences or apsychiatric orlearning disability.
What Expectations and Guidelines for Interacting inthe Online Environment are Helpful?(adapted from Shea, 1994)Netiquette guides can be very long, and uninspiring to read. Ishorten them to the following list, which I use with students:1. In all of your interactions, remember that there is a person behindthe written post.2. Never post anything that you would not say to the person face-to-face.3. Adhere to the same standards of behavior online that you follow inreal life (in what you say and don’t say).4. Respect other people’s time and bandwidth.5. Make yourself look good online.6. Share your knowledge; offer to help to learners who havequestions.7. Keep your emotions under control by not posting flames and notresponding to flames.8. Keep discussions professional and avoid vulgar language.9. Forgive other learners’ mistakes and be patient andcompassionate of all learners in the course.3
What are Some General Strategiesfor Managing Behavior Problems?O High instructor multimedia use, like optionalsynchronous sessions.O Ask students to work with each other. Movethem from participation in a course into co-operation in others’ goals (or true collaboration, ifpossible!).O Good online course design can reduce badbehavior. Don’t make your course easy, just toget students through it. Make students wrestlewith content, not technology. Consider aseparate learning theory for your online coursesfrom your f2f approach.O To suppress plagiarism or cheating, includeGroup Work in course design; use SafeAssign todetect plagiarism; use large question pools andrandom blocks for exams.4
How Can I Manage Bad Behavior Events inthe Online Classroom?5MonitordiscussionsOFTEN to ensureissues are beingaddressed andstudents arerespectful of oneanother.Address issueswith spelling andgrammar, off-topicposts, and otherindividual poorperformanceissues privately.If relevant,Include a link tothe code ofconduct policy inthe syllabus; referstudents to it.Remove flamesand publicmisbehaviors;communicate withstudent their posthas beenremoved andwhy.Resolve problemsusingsynchronouscommunication.Set up a time totalk via telephone,face-to-face, etc.;don’t agree toresolve it throughemail.Be firm and clearwith learners whochallenge yourauthority;say exactly whatyou’ll do and do it.Don’t threaten apenalty you’re notprepared to do.
How Do I Handle Plagiarism Inthe Online Classroom?After investigation, send a final report to the involved student and cc Keith Corneille.If you grade interactions between learners, I recommend that you give the non-offendinglearners credit for their interactions (unless a pattern appears).If other learners have posted to the copied post, you will have to notify the innocentlearners that their response has been removed, but they’ll still get creditRemove all plagiarized posts and notify the learner that it has been removed.Immediately notify the offending learner and let him or her know that it is a violation ofthe academic integrity code.Act swiftly when learners take other learners’ ideas as their own without credit.6
How Can I Manage Motivation IssuesBased On Perception Problems?(Bender & Dittmar, 2006)• Lacks appreciation• Does not integrate instructor feedback; resists or skips peerinteraction opportunities• Feels educational experience is a waste of time• Performance can deteriorate to barely meet assignmentrequirements, turns in assignments lateLone EagleLearner• Lacks attention• Does not follow directions and details for completingassignments• Skips reading required resources• Fails to correct grammar and spelling errors in papers• Often avoiding diagnosed learning disability (or did not readuntil adulthood).DevelopmentalLearner7
How Can I Manage DependentLearners Online?(Bender & Dittmar, 2006)• Lacks devotion• Posts assignments at the 11th hour, delivers hasty work.• Expects little work from the course; ignores the timerequired because of low-quality past experiences.• Expects grade inflation based on past experience.• May slide from doing the minimum to being unable tocomplete the courseLowExpectationLearner• Lacks direction and college study skills• Does not know where to begin• Entirely dependent on instructor scheduling andin-class “absorption” of content.• Poor time management skills• Latent or Hidden Learning disabilities commonDisorganizedLearner8
How Can I Manage Motivation IssuesRelated to Self-Management and Control?(Bender & Dittmar, 2006)• Lacks accountability• Unable to meet responsibilities and resorts to complaining• Shows an external locus of control by blaming everything andeveryone for their inabilities• Reacts emotionally to ideas for self-management• Can’t separate course content from the people involvedPassiveLearner• Lacks patience with less competent learners and mistakes.• Performs well, but independent style makes them want to takecontrol inappropriately• Does not follow processes and procedures for the course• Avoids emotion or compassion; sees it as inappropriateCompetitiveLearner• Uses sarcasm or irony whenever they are uncomfortable• Tries to intimidate or control another learner or sometimes eventhe instructor.• Uses language in a “rant” rather than a discussion, andsometimes uses offensive language to communicate ideas.Passive-AggressiveLearner9
How Can I Manage Issues Related toSelf-Image in an Online Classroom?• Lacks cognitive flexibility or “openness.”• Refuses to read/ consider your feedback• Focuses on excuses why they behaved asthey did, rather than meet the requirementsof an assignment or course activity.One-StyleLearner• Is not prepared for online learning and isdependent on the instructor to lead them throughthe course activities• May state, “I don’t know what to do”• Tends not to take advantage of additionalresources you provide• Gravitates to other low-performing learners ratherthan high-confidence learners.Low-ConfidenceLearner
Motivation Issues Related toPlacement and Preparation(Bender & Dittmar, 2006)• Lacks enthusiasm for course content or otherstudents.• Turns in work on time and meets expectations• Does not ask questions related to course content.• Is not involved in the course outside of meeting therequirementsLow-InterestLearner• Lacks pre-requisites• Does not possess the necessary academic skills to besuccessful in any learning environment• Especially has difficulties in the online learningenvironment, where learners need good reading andwriting skillsUnskilledLearner11
ReferencesBender, S. L., & Dittmar, E. (2006, August). Dealing with difficultonline learners. International Journal of InstructionalTechnology and Distance Learning, 3(7), 55-59.Brookfield, S. D., & Preskill, S. N. (2005). Discussion as a way ofteaching: Tools and techniques for democratic classrooms. SanFrancisco: Jossey-Bass.Palloff, R. M., & Pratt, K. (2005). Collaborating online: Learningtogether in community. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Shea, V. (1994). Netiquette. San Francisco: Albion Books.Stavredes, T. (2012) Motivation Online. Presentation at SLOAN-Cin Orlando, Florida.12