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Six Course Development Assumptions that Fail

by Steven R. Van Hook, PhD

Steven R. Van HookNot only may each fallacy below sink an effort on its own, we often pile fallacy upon fallacy.
1) Just because someone knows a topic, they can teach it. Actually, the inverse may be closer to the truth: If someone knows how to teach well, they may teach just about anything.
2) Since someone can teach domestic students, they can teach internationals. International students pose challenges for the novice instructor: the contextual culture differences for sure, varied learning styles, and their natural antipathy to unchallenged nationalistic assumptions.
3) As someone can teach onground, they can teach online. It is possible to infuse an online class with interpersonal energy, even intimacy; but these are skills carefully developed.
4) Because someone can teach online, they can teach onground. Many instructors may now start a teaching career in online programs, but can be rattled in real-time onground exchanges where reactions must be synchronous, engaging a group rather than a solitary reader of one.
5) Since someone can teach online, they can develop/design online courses. Not only must a course designer know the theory and application of a course topic, they must also understand a learning platform, logistics, layout, technical aspects, while infusing the class with an authentic presence.
6) Because someone can design a course, they can teach it. The best instructor is current on a subject, adding fresh and relevant material, while bonding the process of learning with the learner.

~ Steve

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