The Silent Screen Supporting Introverted Students In The Online Classroom
In a learning culture where extroversion is usually rewarded and introverts are usually left to pick at the scraps, online learning can level the playing field for everyone involved. While research remains inconclusive as to whether or not introverts prefer online learning, administrators can ensure that introverts are serviced by online learning environments in a way perhaps impossible in traditional classrooms.
Introverts need more time than extroverts to process information and consult their own inner dialogues. The fast pace of a normal classroom environment can prove antithetical to this. However, educators have a chance to reach introverted students in online learning environments in a different way.
In fact, the right approach can turn online classrooms into safe havens for introverted students who may feel alienated in traditional learning environments.
Assure Introverted Students That Time Is On Their Side
The hustle and bustle of a normal class schedule can be troublesome for most introverted students. Not only can it be tough just to get to class, but the fast pace of lectures condensed into less than an hour leaves a lot of introverted students feeling overwhelmed.
Online learning administrators can combat this by uploading materials and lectures with plenty of time before assignments are due and examinations are conducted. This gives introverted students plenty of time to review materials, make key internal assessments, and then act.
Introverted students often complain of the frantic pace of normal classes, especially when they think of questions to ask a professor after the class is over and done with. Professors can sometimes be hard to access when students need these questions answered.
Ensuring introverted students have all of the information they need with plenty of time gives them the opportunity to contact their instructor at their own pace if a problem or question arises.
Value Introverted Voices Just The Same As Extroverted Voices
There are some who argue that extroversion is more preferable in human methodology, and therefore, higher education should work to spur introverts to get out of their collective heads.
However, such a didactic and insensitive way of looking at things will only serve to push introverts farther into themselves. Online learning administrators can level the playing field by valuing each student’s voice in the exact same way.
Rather than forcing interpersonal interactions that could serve to make introverts uncomfortable, online learning administrators can use forum functions and Frequently Asked Questions templates to moderate communication and provide information.
Furthermore, most introverts find it much easier to communicate by writing rather than talking. So, creating a collaborative chat environment could actually serve to benefit introverted students and get them to take leadership roles in an online learning environment.
Rather than treating introversion as a defect in need of correction, online classroom administrators can work with introverts’ strengths in order to benefit themselves and other students working with and around them.
Introverted students need time to process and time to respond. While these students may be compelled into quietude in a normal learning environment, they can spread their proverbial wings in an online classroom if supported with empathy and fairness.