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“Don’t force it … it will break!”

Pulling the Legs Off a Spider

Growing up I often heard the phrase from my parents, “Don’t force it … it will break”. I was reminded of this recently while reading the book, “Making the Move to eLearning” by Kay Lehmann and Lisa Chamberlain. In it they discuss the problems of pushing teachers into facilitating online classes. Often if a person does not want to become an online teacher/facilitator they have good reasons – usually they are just not comfortable enough with technology. Lehmann and Chamberlain point out that those who vocally speak out against teaching online probably should not be pushed into the role. Forcing them into the role of online teacher/facilitator could make them more upset causing destruction to the teaching/learning or further drag them down or their students down.

Teaching online is not for everyone. We need to ensure that we don’t force teachers into teaching this way. They may be very comfortable and good teaching in front of a class, face-to-face, but this may not be the case through technology. I think they can be encouraged to use it, but we don’t want to force them into a position where they break, or their students break in whatever way this might be.

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