Yellowstone
Your Voice
by Sheri Perez - Wednesday, May 20, 2015, 10:14 PM
 

“Accomplished discussion leaders in the physical classroom bring myriad practiced approaches to their work.  Many of these approaches-particularly if they’re based on visual or aural cues, the leader’s personal presence, or even the leader’s charisma-don’t survive translation to a text-based forum.” (Collison, p. 102)

Considering the types of voices discussed by George Collison in Facilitating Online Learning, which type of voice or voices would/do you feel most comfortable using as an instructor?  Do you think your voice as a teacher is different (or will be different) online compared to your face to face classes?

 
Picture of Anne Wilkinson
Re: Your Voice
by Anne Wilkinson - Thursday, May 21, 2015, 8:53 AM
 

Sheri,

We were having some of the same thoughts!  I replied to Sharon that I use the Generative Guide voice most often as I work with beginning students and I need to redirect, focus and have them delve deeper into the material.      But I believe that I use different voices as the need arises.   I think the voice that I would have more difficulty using online is the Role Play voice.  Part of the reason would be the asynchronous nature of the online discussion.   The tone that would be most difficult online is the Humorous tone due to the lack of facial expression and body language.

There was an interesting blog note from The Teaching Professor Blog via Faculty Focus last week that addresses our teaching persona and the author also speaks to teaching voice. Some of the questions raised in the blog are:

     “Must new teachers stumble into a teaching style that works for them, for their students, and with their content by trial and error? Or are there ways that the discovery process could be more planned and systematic? And then, when a teaching identity has emerged, how does it change across one’s career? By accident? By design? What happens if it doesn’t change? Is that cause for concern?” (Weimer, M. 2015).

I know I stumbled through different teaching styles as a new teacher.  Being aware of voice and tone strategies before I began would have given me a better framework to base my teaching on.  As a Nursing Instructor, I was hired because of my nursing knowledge and the teaching knowledge came later through certification courses and mentors and time and trial and error!

Anne

Reference

Weimer, M. (2015, May 15).  Developing a Teaching Persona. [The Teaching Professor Blog]. Retrieved
     from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/teaching-professor-blog/developing-a-teaching-persona/ 

Picture of Sharon Suchla
Re: Your Voice
by Sharon Suchla - Thursday, May 21, 2015, 10:56 AM
 

I believe new teachers must stumble into a teaching style that works for them.  I believe that the voices aren't automatic and that one must develop them.  Can I compare this to aging a fine wine?  ; )  I also believe that we need practice thinking about our thinking.  That is not something I realized until I was well into my education career when I heard a presentation on metacognition.  As a new teacher, you are so busy trying to gain expertise in your craft that this may be the missing link.  Should this be included in a educator preparation program?  Or are new teachers not ready for this piece?

Yellowstone
Re: Your Voice
by Sheri Perez - Friday, May 22, 2015, 7:37 PM
 

Hi Anne,

I too stumbled through teaching trying to create my voice and it didn't help that when I initially began as a high school teacher more experienced teachers tried to push me in a direction that was never in my comfort zone.  Oddly, there was a culture in my department that lecturers were the best teachers, lecturing never meshed well with my personality.  (I believe this is one of several reasons that online teaching suited me.)

Thank you for providing the link to The Teaching Professor Blog.  I agree with the author that one of the hardest obstacles to overcome as a new teacher is to realize that the teacher you become must suit your personality, and it may not be the type of teacher you responded to as a student.  The following quote hit home with me:

“My favorite teacher was a master at the Socratic method. He could take an answer and ask a follow-up question that led to a bigger and better second response, and then lauded you for making the answer better. I loved the approach, but when I tried it, I discovered I couldn’t figure out good follow-up questions. Either none came to me or the ones I asked muddled the answer more. I tried for years—and improved a bit, but never really got good at Socratic questioning.” (Weimer, M. 2015)

Picture of Lisa Fitzgerald
Re: Your Voice
by Lisa Fitzgerald - Thursday, May 21, 2015, 10:33 AM
 

Sheri,

I agree with Anne in that, as instructors, we have to play the role of cameleon, adapting to the various situations that arise.  But, I'd say that the voices of Conceptual Facilitator and Generative Guide are the two that make the most sense to me in that I like to approach my classes in a way that I'm teaching students to think for themselves by prompting them to consider multiple ways of looking at and approaching the material.  

Adapting this style to an online class is a daunting thought since I haven't done it yet.  But, I've begun to think about how my fall class might be approached, and I think that the voices discussed above will serve me well. By referencing students' posts and then moving the discussion to develop those posts further, it seems as if students will be given something they don't always have in a face-to-face class: time to ponder before they respond.

Lisa

Picture of Sharon Suchla
Re: Your Voice
by Sharon Suchla - Thursday, May 21, 2015, 11:02 AM
 

I think Lisa has brought up a key advantage to online education.  Students need the time to think before responding and every student is unique.  In a regular classroom there are always the same students raising their hand to participate.  Although the teacher may call on the more quiet students, he/she may still not share much.  I think back to my high school students and wonder if they had all had as much interaction as is possible in an online class, how their experience would have been different.  Would they have become more engaged?  Were they engaged but just not sharing?  How deep do still waters run?

Yellowstone
Re: Your Voice
by Sheri Perez - Saturday, May 23, 2015, 9:18 PM
 

Hi Lisa,

I have been teaching online for over a decade and the conceptual facilitator and generative guide are the voices I use the most; I believe these are the voices that I tend to use a great deal in face to face classes so it is a role or roles I am comfortable with online.

Teaching online has pushed me to add more prepared class discussions into my curriculum to engage the introverted students.  Each semester I enjoy hearing the quieter students articulating their thoughts on the assigned topic and jumping into the class discussion when I give them the questions a week in advance.

Sheri 

Picture of Sharon Suchla
Re: Your Voice
by Sharon Suchla - Thursday, May 21, 2015, 11:07 AM
 

I think that I will be able to use all of the voices.  Some will come more naturally to me due to years of practice, such as the generative voice.  Others are moving along, such as the reflective voice due to some in depth training I have recently had.  I wonder how my voice will come across online.  I know it will be different because I use a lot of gestures and facial expression.  I think that will be the hardest thing to overcome.  Is that even possible online?  And if so, how?

Cynthia Koons, RDH, MBA
Re: Your Voice
by Cynthia Koons - Thursday, May 21, 2015, 11:23 AM
 

Sharon,

I wonder if the sequence of the courses might have an impact for me.  If students have had me as their instructor for two semesters in face-to-face delivery courses and then have me as their online instructor, is it possible that the students might be able to sense the gestures and facial expressions?  At least they would be able to identify a face to the online discussions.  One of my first concerns would be to ensure that my online personality did not vary much from face-to-face.  Is that possible?

Cyndy

Picture of Sharon Suchla
Re: Your Voice
by Sharon Suchla - Thursday, May 21, 2015, 2:23 PM
 

Cyndy:

I think that it would definitely be an advantage to get to know the students first face to face.  I unfortunately do not always have that opportunity with the schools I work with two hours away.  I have noticed that if I have a chance to meet the school leadership team in person and just chat, it helps me to help them through the school improvement process.  I want to think that they better understand my online voice after meeting them, but I can't be sure.  Sometimes I think they take me entirely too literally, like I make a suggestion and they think it's a requirement.  My next endeavor is a second job as an online evaluator for graduate courses.  I am concerned that it will be very difficult to have my electronic voice understood.

Sharon

Picture of Anne Wilkinson
Our Online Voices ~ Are they understood?
by Anne Wilkinson - Friday, May 22, 2015, 11:48 AM
 

We all have "voiced"  ;) our concern over whether our online voice will be understood in the manner it was intended.  I think that just like we all once were novice instructors, we now are in a new role or environment and we don't feel as comfortable...yet.  We have a new awareness of intentionally using a specific voice and specific tones in the online environment.  As we craft these, we will become more confident in the process.  And if you go further in Stout’s Online Certificate, you will learn other ways (audio and visual) to allow students to get to know you.    So here’s to being stretched again!

Yellowstone
Re: Your Voice
by Sheri Perez - Saturday, May 23, 2015, 9:38 PM
 

Hi Sharon,

I'm not confident that I would use a reflective voice well, but it is something that I want to learn how to do.  Ultimately, that is why I signed up for this class, I want to learn some new tricks to my online classes better.  Perhaps as this class continues you could share what you learned from your previous class to help me develop this new tool. :)

I was introduced to a media tool in Canvas a few months ago that allows me to post video in assignments, discussions, and announcements.  I love that I can make a short video to repeat my directions and recommendations, you can't edit the videos but that makes me embrace the imperfections. :)  The videos are no better than Skype or Facetime, but it does help those students that want more than text from me.

Sheri

Picture of Sheilah Smith
Re: Your Voice
by Sheilah Smith - Sunday, May 24, 2015, 3:02 PM
 

Sheri,

Voices in online discussion facilitation seem to fall under the 300 course level versus Voices 101. It appears to take time for mastery and for the voice to be authentic and helpful to the group. In the beginning, I used a lot of the reflective voice because that one felt closest to the one I used with adult learners in face-to-face classrooms. Due to the lack of visual cues, it seemed also to be the one that could be most understood by the group. 

Sheilah

Yellowstone
Re: Your Voice
by Sheri Perez - Monday, May 25, 2015, 11:59 AM
 

Sheilah,

You make a great point, online teaching is still at the heart of it teaching and we should start by using the tools that make us successful in a traditional class.

Sheri

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