Hey everybody, it’s Will. It is the start of a new term for me, and I feel particularly enthused this go-around. Often at the beginning of a term I ask myself the same questions: How quickly do students form opinions about me as a teacher? How do they make decisions about how effective they think I am going to be? How do they decide to trust me, so to speak? I don’t have exact answers to these questions, but my guess is that it is pretty darn quick. 🙂
Writing in his book Blink, Malcolm Gladwell references a study that attempted to answer that question in traditional face-to-face classrooms. He wrote:
How long… did it take you, when you were in College, to decide how good a teacher your professor was? A class? Two classes? A semester? The psychologist Nalini Ambady once gave studets three ten-second videotapes of a techer — with the sound turned off — and found they had no difficulty at all coming up with a rating of the teacher’s effectiveness. Then Ambady cut the clip back to five seconds, and the ratings were the same. They were remarkably consistent even when she showed the students just two seconds of videotape. Then Ambady compared those snap judgments of teacher effectiveness with evaluations of those same professors made by their students after a full semester of classes, and she found that they were also essentially the same. [Emphasis added] (Blink, pgs 12 & 13)
I am not sure what to make of that completely, but it is interesting to think about how that process works in an online environment.
I’ll see you on the web!