“Gale refers particularly to the loneliness of the independent distance learner, but I would suggest that being ‘outside’ the conversation is lonely whether you are embodied or not.”
I agree that a loneliness can present whether you’re there or not but I also agree with Gale in that it’s nice to know you are maybe not the only one struggling as opposed to an isolated distance learner who may not yet have the contacts or comfort to approach others. I experienced it a bit with my last group for one of their distance courses. It was a tough course and they all felt like they were struggling but when I reviewed their work, they were all doing well and I made sure to connect with them all to talk to them about it. This connection, I think, definitely helped to close any gaps and uneasiness about performance. I think regardless of student location, clear expectations and setting of the bar are paramount.
“Gale refers to research that shows that testing and feedback mechanisms change the ways in which people choose to learn. And suggests that the critically important question of who’s objectives are to be achieved, the learners or the teacher’s” My thoughts on this are that the teacher was hired for a reason. Ideally because they are good at their jobs and know what needs to be accomplished to be successful in that field. So why students shouldn’t at least aim for something similar to the teachers objectives? I get the whole, you develop your own practice, etc but we are teaching foundational material that will help ensure students understand the fundamentals well enough to effectively create their own, wonderful, practice.
When it comes to self-reflection and student led self-assessment I am 100% for it. I have used it for myself and I have used it in the classroom. I have seen the difference it makes. Personally, my self awareness has improved a lot since I began incorporating reflections not just professionally but personally as well. It is a great way to step outside your context and see what is really going on. From a learning perspective, it has helped me to step up my game and look at things from another perspective. That usually helps me kick start the creative juices again and helps to reframe the problem and find solutions…learn more. Learn better.