Train and Prepare Instructors

Our field faces two crises in regards to harassment on-line. The first is that the majority of new teachers of writing lack both training and experience in computer-mediated instruction; the second is that teacher training does not address issues of student-to-teacher harassment. While both of these issues of are immediate concern, I limit my discussion here to issues of harassment.

Within teacher training and faculty development programs, attention must be paid to student-to-teacher harassment. All faculty need to know department and university policies for dealing with problematic student behavior. Regular workshops dealing with sexual, racial and other differences will open lines of communication between teachers, students, and administrators. These workshops should draw on contemporary theories of differences, address legal issues of harassment in the workplace, and offer practical strategies for dealing with student conflicts. One of the most effective training strategies is role playing; this approach can be used to help teachers gain experience in responding to both face-to-face and on-line harassment.


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