ACTIVITY: Problems and Pitfalls When Teaching Online


I wish I could tell you that everything will run smoothly when you teach your course, but anyone who has ever taught in any environment can tell us that "surprises" are bound to happen. So far in this course, we have talked about some issues that might arise, such as students who fall behind in their course work or don't even begin in the first place.

In the next several pages of Lesson 4, we will introduce problems and pitfalls related to the following topics:

  1. Student conflicts
  2. Plagiarism
  3. Cheating
  4. Technical Glitches
  5. Poor Netiquette

In the following activity, we will be able to also address additional problems and pitfalls that you may have encountered or may be worried about. As we customize the lesson in this way, you will have a chance to not only get help from others on issues that may be stumping you, but you will also be able to share your own experiences and strategies with others to help them out!


  1. Enter our "Problems and Pitfalls Discussion Forum" in ANGEL
    • Click on the "Activities" link in the left-hand menu.
    • Click on the link to the "Problems and Pitfalls Discussion Forum"
    • In a new posting, share a problem or pitfall you are concerned about. Alternately, you could share your story about a problem or pitfall that you have encountered (even if you simply observed it as a student!), along with the strategy used to solve the problem.
  2. Read the postings your peers have made and reply to at least TWO individuals by providing them with suggestions for how to deal with the issue raised or by offering additional ways to deal with a problem or pitfall they have already addressed.

NOTE: Please first respond to a peer who has yet to receive any feedback. Then feel free to provide feedback to more than one individual if you choose to!

This activity will take place over the course of this week. Be sure to check the discussion forum daily in order to keep up with the postings and to respond if desired. Let's make sure that no one's problem goes unsolved!