Online Course Design Pitfall #3: Insist on being the “sage on the stage.”
Key issue: Even in a traditional face-to-face setting, as long as students have access to their laptops or phones, they can Google answers to questions asked in class or even verify what their instructor said. In an online course or the online session of a hybrid course, we can then always assume that students are Googling the topics and obtaining an enormous volume of related materials, opinions, and even looking at similar courses offered by other universities. Being the “sage on the stage” is no longer the role of an instructor – let’s face it.
How to avoid this pitfall? Please don’t expect to get an answer from me as I am not an “expert.” You can Google it. That’s what I did and found “guide on the side” as a potential solution to replace “sage on stage.” For the hybrid course I am designing, I will actually encourage students to Google related issues and bring them to class for discussions. The focus will be on problem solving and critical thinking. Through minicases and group projects, students will have opportunities to learn from each other and work together to solve real-world issues. Being the “guide on the side” is the role of an instructor – let’s try it.