Some pitfalls are equally relevant to face to face and online learning.
I find I too often fail to provide time and space for students to really interact and share with one another. In our class in particular – the U.S. Health System – many of the students have had intense experiences as a patient or as a family member of someone going through a difficult health event. I find that they often will communicate with me and I learn more from them about the intricacies and depth of some of the systems issues we discuss in class as well as the still astonishing disconnect between what we need from the health care system and what we actually get. But, I rarely carve out the space in a large (mostly lecture) class for them to share those experiences with one another and I am unsure how to effectively create a space that encourages that sharing online. Helping students develop empathy may not be among our stated course goals but it should be. So, I am hoping to learn how to more effectively use the online tools to encourage students learn more about each other.