I was reading Bledsoe and Baskins (2015) article about student fear in the classroom. I have a group just now who are adult returners and they are feeling a little fearful themselves so I thought this article would be interesting and helpful. It also helped me reflect on how I felt a little fearful at the beginning of this course. As online learners we don’t have the advantage of seeing body language or expressions to guide us in our interaction. We did have some tools though to help to get to know each other a little and the working groups helped to create a sense of belonging.
Discovering the literature on the community of inquiry (Palloff and Pratt 2010)and how we have set up communities by using asynchronous discussions, questions, games etc. has rounded this first year of this course off very nicely. I feel that I have learned a great deal by being both the student and the teacher. I now have some sound research to be able to take this forward in my own role.
In the workplace and in this course I have experienced the benefits and drawbacks of using online courses as well as the development of materials for use online. In between I was fortunate enough to travel abroad and experience first-hand how the internet is used in education and its availability on other continents. Three of my co-workers were from South Africa, Ecuador and France and they brought their experience to the table too which enhanced my own learning.
I am now more confident in my approach to using the technologies available and have the research to back up what I am doing now and what I intend to do in the future.
Strategies for Addressing Student Fear in the Classroom. Bledsoe T. S and Baskin J http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-and-learning/strategies-for-addressing-student-fear-in-the-classroom/
Palloff, Rena M., and Keith Pratt. Collaborating online: Learning together in community. Vol. 32. John Wiley & Sons, 2010.