if you do all the work, who does the learning?!!!
At every moment in the design and management of this course i ask myself to think about whether the choice i am about to make is me doing the work, or if there is a way for me to get students to do the work so that they can do the learning : ) this is a constant struggle for me as i LOVE to talk and LOVE to talk about what i am passionate about, namely effective online instruction.
So i say … teach them to fish instead of giving them the fish…make them do the work… don’t do it for them, take every opportunity to challenge your students to do most of the work in your course… because if they are doing the work, they are doing the learning, figure out ways to make them teach each other, that is how people learn… if you view everything and every interaction in the course as an opportunity to express that concept and if you are able to scrutinize yourself, your design, your actions and interactions, etc., you will be a better educator.
It is harder because you want to help them, make sure they get it, make sure they know what you know…. but!!!! that is a trap… remember if you do the work, who does the learning?!!! It is harder also because they can’t all fish right away… But you have to resist the temptation…just remember that if you give them the answers/information, they are not learning anything really . . . learning takes time, it is a process, that like fishing requires patience and practice, and it is not something you cause to happen… it is something the student chooses to do…
It is also something that you, as the course designer/instructor can facilitate.
How?? Have them reflect, apply, report, explain, defend, refute, question, self-assess, summarize, synthesize, and analyze their engagement with course content and as a member of the class community.
Design learning activities that make students make their thinking visible to you.