When you don’t read the directions …

In the midst of trying to meet a deadline for our backchanneling article, Sharon Peters and I had put together over 9000 words, thinking that we had an extra 1000 words to play with. Then I talked with one of my ISU colleagues who had submitted her article to the same publication. She was so pleased since she had been able to submit her article a day early … meeting the 20-page maximum … that was fine … double-spaced … WHAT?!?


Was it a bad dream?

Not only did I want to start that day over …  I actually wanted to go back about 3 weeks and read the submission criteria more carefully.

These types of experiences … of course, this isn’t my first … help increase my empathy for my students. It also reminds me to make sure that I practice what preach to my doctoral students who are working on their dissertations, “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell it to them, then tell them what you told them.”

When I first started teaching online I was fairly good at providing explicit directions – or so I thought. Now, 10 years later, I am much better at organizing instructions so that my students don’t have to guess what I’m thinking. I want them to successfully complete the assignments so that they can learn what will help them be better teachers.


We cut to 5600 words and 19 pages … Phew! Watch for the article in late November. I will post the URL as soon as I get it.


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