Online Learning Update

May 28, 2011

Online Learning Faculty Burnout?

Filed under: Online Learning News — Ray Schroeder @ 12:04 am

by Steve Kolowich, Inside Higher Ed

Online education demolishes borders: borders between regulatory jurisdictions, between traditional and nontraditional learners, and between for-profit and nonprofit higher education. But one pattern of erosion that has been less thoroughly documented has been the crumbling of the borders that define the work lives of college professors. Some experts fear that the boom in online education could lead to higher rates of burnout among faculty, especially those whose emotional satisfaction depends on face-to-face interactions with students and colleagues. At the same time, some suggest that technological advances in online learning environments, specifically tools that aim to make virtual interactions more rewarding, could reduce the risk of alienation for online instructors. Does teaching online increase the risk of burnout? Scholarly research devoted to the topic is thin and offers no definitive answers.

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