Presentation on theme: "Behavioral Issues in Online Courses. Learning Outcomes In this session, you will: Participate in group activities and offer suggestions for managing a."— Presentation transcript:
Behavioral Issues in Online Courses
Learning Outcomes In this session, you will: Participate in group activities and offer suggestions for managing a variety of behavioral issues in the online classroom. These will include the following types identified by Tina Stavredes in Effective Online Teaching: Foundations and Strategies for Student Success. Co-instructor, Know-it-all, Bully, Helpless, Chatty Kathy, Offender, Sarcastic/Humorous, Challenger, and Complainer.
Examples and Solutions copied from: Stavredes, Tina. (2011) Effective Online Teaching: Foundations and Strategies for Student Success. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. pp ,
Let’s Use Socrative Go to m.socrative.com. Enter Along the way, I’ll be asking you some questions. t.socrative.com
Co-Instructor This student wants to tell you how to teach the course. He gives advice about the textbook selection, suggests that the tests should be a different type, and offers to help other students.
Solution Let him know you appreciate his ideas. Do not indicate you will or will not use his advice. If the student wants to help others, let him know that you appreciate it, but you are working one-on-one with students. Suggest that the best way to help is engage with students in discussion in a respectful manner that does not point out problems or errors because it can be an embarrassment.
Know-It-All Always has the right answer and lets everyone else know they are wrong.
Solution Discuss this issue with the learner in your regular feedback to his or her performance. Indicate in the feedback the value of multiple perspectives and suggest it is important to respect diverse opinions and ideas. “Post rules of engagement” to make sure students argue issues, not one another. They should support ideas with evidence rather than opinions.
Bully Tries to intimidate or offend others—students or sometimes the instructor. Rants rather than discusses. Sometimes uses offensive language.
Solution Communicate with the learner that this behavior is not tolerated and remove any posts in which this occurs. Let him know the post has been removed and the reason. Cite the learner code of conduct to support your decision. Keep the statement neutral (without personal comments), short, and to the point.
Helpless Lets everyone know he or she doesn’t know what to do. Solicits sympathy and asks other students for help. Usually doesn’t reach out to the instructor.
Solution Post directly to the learner’s post and let him/her know that you are there to support. Also send a personal communication to the learner. In the discussion, ask the learner to review your personal correspondence. It demonstrates to other learners that you are working with the learner.
Chatty Kathy Posts too much personal or off-topic irrelevant information to the discussion. The focus is building person relationships rather than learning.
Solution All personal communications should be moved to a café or lounge discussion area. Copy and paste the message. Let the learners know what you have done in an . In a general discussion, remind all learners to focus on the discussion in the topic and use the café or lounge for other types of interactions not related to the discussion.
Offender Learners post offensive words to communicate their ideas. They may be right on target, but the language is offensive and distracts from the communication.
Solution Post a general statement in the discussion board regarding professionalism in discussions and remind students that offensive language is against the student code of conduct. Contact the learner individually and politely ask him to edit his post (we can’t do this) and remove the offensive language.
Sarcastic/Humorous Uses sarcasm and humor. Usually not meant to be malicious but comments can be misunderstood and people are offended without visual cues.
Solution If students are concerned, let them know you will deal with it immediately. Let the person who posted know that he has offended another student. Request that he keep statements neutral and review discussion posts before clicking the post button. Since there is no malicious intent, there is no need to quote the student conduct policy.
Challenger Learner challenges the learning activities as well as the solutions offered by the instructor. Usually the challenger will receive feedback about an activity and, instead of accepting the comments and making appropriate changes to improve his performance, will challenge the instructor asking why he needs to do this and states his disagreement.
Solution Discuss specifically why the activity is important and how it related to the overall goals and objectives of the course. If the challenger wants to continue the debate about the relevance of the activities, it is best not to continue a dialogue.
Complainer Learner complains about the course in public forums and tries to encourage others to feel the same. Openly describes activities as worthless and a waste of time. May state that this is basic information that everyone should know or information that he learned when in high school.
Solution Communicate with the complainer privately and give him an opportunity to be heard. Show empathy for how he feels and work through a resolution that makes the learner feel he has been heard. However, make it clear that a public forum is not he appropriate place to complain.
Summary Keep your tone neutral. Do not use language that demonstrates a personal feeling about the issue, such as I am sad or disappointed, but stick to the facts. If appropriate, site your organization’s code of conduct policy to ensure learners understand what behavior is not appropriate If the behavior occurs in a public forum, intervene quickly, so other learners are able to see that you recognize the problem and are in control of the situation.
Summary (continued) Do not argue with the learner. Stick to the policies within your institution and the expectations that you have set for your course. Contact the learner exhibiting the behavioral problem privately and give the learner an opportunity to discuss the issue that is causing the behavior. Remove offending posts immediately. If other learners have responded to the post you removed, their post will also be removed. Contact all learners whose posts will be removed and state the policy to justify the removal of the offending post along with responses. Do not discuss the behavioral issue with other learners in the course but focus on the expectations for creating a professional course environment.
Remember Tone Avoid; “I will not tolerate this in my course,” or “I can’t believe you said that.” This can escalate the situation. Instead, remind the student to follow the “Expectations and Guidelines for Interacting in the Online Environment.”
Summary and Wrap-Up Follow this procedure: State the issue and action taken. Be specific about the issue (copy the comment) and be clear about the action. If an institution policy has been violated, copy the exact language from the policy (student code of conduct, academic honesty policy, etc.) Allow the learner to provide an explanation of his or her reasoning about what happened. Offer to talk with the learner by phone to clarify the issue. If possible, give the learner an opportunity to resolve the issue by participating in solving the problem.