What activities or features would convince a student who is taking a course that there is a human teacher in a meaningful role, even though the student cannot see/touch/smell the teacher? I.e., what are the characteristics of a “teacherless” course essential to convince the students who take it that they have a teacher? Who cares? Why does/doesn’t this matter? For whom?
Challenge: Develop a new test, which I'm tentatively calling "Ender's Test" - a bit of a spoof/allusion to both Ender's Game and Turing Test.
The idea is to develop a test for determining whether an undergraduate course is being "taught" by a human or not.... Like the Turing Test for determining whether a device that is communicating with someone is a human or is an "artificial intelligence." The context is the growing pressure on faculty and other academic professionals to adapt, recreate, etc. courses that have been entirely or mostly based on face-to-face interaction and "traditional" teaching/learning resources into "courses" that include more online activities or elements or resources.
TASK: Describe activities/features/patterns/capabilities that would convince a student who is taking a course that there is a human teacher in a meaningful role, even though the students cannot see/touch/smell the teacher.
NOTE: Happily, developing a list that accomplishes goal #1 seems unavoidably to accomplish goal #2 at the same time:
1. Identify features/patterns/capabilities of an “artificial” course that would enable it to avoid detection as such... enable it to convince students that they were taking a course with a human being in a significant role.
2. Identify activities/features/patterns/capabilities of a human teacher that are likely to engage students more actively and effectively in a course, that are likely to be perceived as demonstrating why it is important for a human teacher to have a significant role in the course.