In my Online Instructor Training (OIT) class through the Harris County Department of Education (HCDE), during synchronous discussion, the topic came up of misbehavior in online classes. It was a topic I hadn’t spent a lot of time reflecting on since I work with adult learners. I definitely agree with the author cited at the link above:

A well-organized class and a syllabus that clearly lays out the requirements, procedures, and other aspects of the class are necessary elements. In regard to interaction, the instructor also does much to set the tone for the class, and how well one provides feedback is also a critical factor. Training for instructors should address how to organize and manage an online class so as to reduce the odds of miscommunication, and should also help instructors recognize and manage difficulties when they arise.

If an adult learner “misbehaves,” I know exactly what to do: 1) Re-direct; 2) Direct contact; 3) Remove; and if necessary, 4) Contact his supervisor.

With children, though, the contacts appear to be more subtle. Clear expectations up front are critical no matter what the age of the learner. This is why I was grateful to Jeanie Cole (HCDE) for her suggestion that I visit the Florida Virtual School to view these policies:

While each of these has to be adapted, developed for one’s own situation and community, it’s nice to know that we’re not starting from scratch. I encourage Texas districts that have addressed these items to share their policies with the rest of us!

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure