Teaching online

24 November 2008 in Online MA in CWNM

Since 2001 I’ve taught a lot online and have found it variously rewarding and frustrating.  The online environment can be a good one for teaching writing in a workshop - objective and precise, all comments written down, asychronous course structures enabling everyone to take the time to read and consider all feedback, discussions continuing on a single piece over a prolonged period, unlike in the classroom where you get your half hour and that’s it til your turn comes round again.  But there are also big disadvantages to teaching online, the main one being that it is impossible to replicate the nuance of face to face interaction online.  You can’t raise your eyebrow in cyberspace.

Currently I teach online in two places - on the online MA in Creative Writing and New Media that I helped set up at DMU, and for the British Council, in Medi-Cafe, a scheme for mentoring students from Tunisia and Morocco who are writing in English.  Will be heading off to Tunisia shortly for one of our face to face sessions; with this programme, the online interaction is fed by regular face to face meetings, which is great.  It enriches the online interaction hugely.


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