Last week I had the opportunity to attend a local gathering of online instructors in my area that was facilitated by the BYU-Idaho online department. Members of the Online Instructor leadership team from BYU-Idaho traveled to the meeting.
As part of this meeting, there was a Q&A. One instructor brought up our "Weekly Reflect Reports" and how he felt that the ranking scale was not the way he would like to see it done. He also mentioned that, years ago, instructors had to input a bunch of hard data such as: how many phone calls, emails, etc. they had made that week. The person from the leadership team answered the question. Part of the answer was that they are trying to make it easier on the instructors to report how the instructor feels they are doing.
In response to this, one of the other instructors mentioned that this is his first semester teaching for BYU-Idaho but that he has been teaching online for another university as well. He said that the other university only talks to him once at the beginning of the semester and then just leaves him alone to manage the course as he wants. He feels that BYU-Idaho micromanages the instructors and he just wishes that they would just leave him alone and let him do his job...
This response saddened and hurt me deeply. With that said, I confess that there have been a few times when I have felt that way. However, I am so glad that I wasn’t “left alone”! As instructors, we are on the front lines of truly helping care for Heavenly Father’s children. I live in Utah but have students in Ghana. The impact that I have on the student in Ghana is significant. By helping the student, I am helping them change their life, their current and future family’s lives as well as improving their communities. The impact that I have is that of Eternal consequence. Do I really want to be “left alone” to do this all by myself? The answer is a resounding “No”!
I am not simply teaching a class. I am helping Heavenly Father’s children to grow and progress. I cannot and do not want to do this on my own. I welcome all of the help that Heavenly Father will provide me. I know that this will often come through individual inspiration but also through those around me. Heavenly Father will inspire those whose have stewardship over this program to help me as well. We all understand that sometimes this help is easier to accept than other times.
Please don’t get me wrong, I do not “Love” weekly reflections, synchronous and asynchronous meetings, discussion boards, etc. However, I do “Love” that I am not expected to do this on my own. I am grateful for a loving Father in Heaven that loves his children and gives us the tool that we can use to help his children all over the earth.
I am not sure if this makes sense to anyone other than myself. However, I do thank you for letting me share my thoughts.