CLASS DYNAMICS Teacher-Student Relationship

The environment of the networked class, in terms of teacher-student relations has been very different from "normal" 101 classes. The technical troubles initially experienced by both teacher and students created an alliance, rather than the normal hierarchy of a classroom. In addition, the fact that all of the assignments were posted and the commentary was mostly in the form of messages distanced the unpleasant authoritarian activities of the traditional teacher. The normally informal world of computer communications made students more willing to challenge comments and discuss freely among themselves. The grading, too, has been easier. Absent the red pen, the students have asked more questions regarding commentary made on returned papers. The students have asked more questions, period. They have messaged for more information on assignments, they have called on the phone; they have ferreted me out of the computer lab; they have caught me before or after class; they have even come during office hours, asking for more information. Finally, the type of information has been more varied; some have connected the task of writing in class and asked general questions about other writing tasks they have for other courses and activities. I have ceased to be the authority figure and turned back into the helper I was when, years ago, I worked in a writing center.

Presenter: Mindy Young

Category: Classroom practice

Target Audience: Not Applicable

Add your comment about this presentation

Return to the Schedule of Abstracts