I would like to know how we should use tone and language with some students. It seems some students with anxiety are more likely to read into your feedback as though you are yelling or talking down to them. In your experience are there "trigger" words that should be avoided?
FAB: Managing Emotional Challenges of Online Students
My name is Mike Considine and I will be facilitating the discussion in this thread which is being sponsored by the Faculty Advisory Board (FAB). This discussion is presented as a part of the Faculty Training Culture Initiative.
The digital age creates more opportunities for online learners, however, there is an ambiguity that still exists. As online instructors, it is difficult to see the struggles that students might be experiencing. While some students might be more open about personal struggles, student struggles can also be inferred by how, for example, they respond to a discussion question.
As instructors, we want our students to succeed. However, emotional indicators may exist that prevent otherwise competent students from succeeding.
This discussion will focus on how we can respond to students that might be struggling emotionally. The workshop helps instructors to recognize, and respond to, students who might be experiencing stress, depression, and/or anxiety. Although we are not in a position to diagnose and treat a student, an empathic instructor might be just what the student needs to successfully complete a class.
In my experience as an online instructor and mental health clinician, I would say that I can most sense depression and anxiety with students. While I would never diagnose a student with a disorder, the tone of their correspondences allude to the experience of such emotions.As online instructors, we want to minimize the impact emotional struggles as it can cloud the intellectual abilities of students.
As an opening question, what are some of your experiences with students who are having a difficult time? How do you respond to them in general?
Throughout the month, I will be posting articles and resources as a springboard to our discussions. I will also be posting “correspondences” from “students” as an exercise in how to best respond to them.
Please let me know if you have any questions and/or suggestions throughout the next four weeks
Yours in learning
Mike Considine, PsyD
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- November 14, 2017
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