Our beliefs about online interactions are important for our online business success and distance learning success, and for enjoyment of this environment. If we want to flourish at a distance we must examine our thoughts about this context. Often people who dread teaching, training or running a business online have pre-programmed fears and misconceptions regarding the cyberspace that prevent them from being effective and fulfilled online. No matter how much experience or education we have in the “real” world, when it comes to distance learning, the majority of us feel anxiety and frustration.
When we start web-based teaching or training for the first time, we hope that this new environment will be similar to the traditional one. We yearn to be able to transfer our skills and talents. We dream of a motivated, responsive, interactive audience who will debate intelligently and work independently as producers of ideas. We long for enjoyment, spark, and wit — we want the virtual dialogue to come alive. However, we quickly learn that the specifics of the new medium require a new set of pedagogical, technical, administrative, and even interpersonal skills. Since most of us do not have any distance learning training before we start our work online, we often begin to feel insecure, intimidated, and even afraid of the distance. These kinds of negative beliefs paralyze our ability to appreciate and enjoy this educational context.
How can one be afraid of distance learning and at the same time be an effective trainer or teacher? How can one build a welcoming atmosphere online while resenting this educational environment? The deeper our fears, the fewer the opportunities for fostering learning, and the more of what we do not want comes our way, as “what we resist, persists.”
Today I would like to share with you Chapter 1 from our Amazon Bestseller, “The Golden Climate in Distance Learning” dedicated to 5 common fears, and demystifying them for you so you can start enjoying the online environment and be effective in it.
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