ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Cluelessly Boring Educators

Updated on August 27, 2011

I feel like an undercover agent. But I am not paid to be one. And yet, I endure the pain of uncovering the worst online instructors academia has to offer. I have had the best and then there is the rest. I also teach online, and I love teaching online. I try to inspire my students to THINK, and to DISCUSS and to SHARE and to LEARN. Too bad many of the online professors I have had are not so savvy and open minded.

I received a degree in Liberal arts at the graduate level in 1999 and have been a college instructor now for 12 years. I am fortunate to have wonderful teaching opportunities and kind and compassionate people to work for. I know how lucky I am because I have worked all over the country and have had some great positions and some that were barely tolerable.The life of an adjunct professor is challenging, but it provides me with doing work that I love. I would never ever want to NOT be doing it.

As to the courses of study I have been involved in, I have found that while taking classes online at three different institutions of higher learning in various parts of the country, I have had the misfortune of having some real yahoos who have been given positions of professors and/or tenure that are so entirely clueless that it makes the experience not only intolerable, but very painful.

Case in point. In my masters program I took online in 2009 I had a poetry professor who introduced himself to the class as a poet, who was a teacher. I understood his position. He did not like or want to teach, he wanted to write poems. I have many colleagues who would rather be writers than instructors. I introduced myself as a teacher who also wrote. He was insulted. WTF? He believed I was being a wise ass. OK, like I wanted to start off on the wrong foot?! I was honest....teaching is my "thing"...I am not a starving poet...

This term I started two new classes in interdisciplinary studies at a college online. When I got the book list I knew I was in for a rough time of it, because it was going to be difficult not to argue intensely with the information I knew would be entailed in the text. But, I love a challenge. My prof posted his syllabus online and it consisted of 2 pages with no real sense of what was due and when. He did not post an area for us to introduce ourselves to others in the course, so I wrote him asking for such a place if possible. He refused to answer me. This tipped me off that he was a non-communicator. I cannot stand people who will not reply within a reasonable amount of time to a question for which I pay good money. I posted my responses to his questions like a good interactive online student and then proceeded to comment on the others posts, like any "normal" online course requires.I wrote to him and cc:d the others in the class apologizing for commenting when he clearly did not wish us to. He replied in an email to me: OK. That was it. Nothing more. Talk about being strange?

Yesterday, in a fully seperate post, I notice his "rules". They were never included in the syllabus and were quite curt and seemingly made to make his job one of ease. Please do not respond except in one post per question. This is not a chat room.Ok, what about learnign from each other? What about finding commonalities and new ideas embedded in the conversations between students? Guess that idea is foolish, eh?

It is no wonder online college classes get a bad reputation. I love teaching them, but cannot say I feel as enamored taking them. Where the heck are people who have some of the same ideas I do? Why can't these people take classes in how to teach? Don't they realize the really stink at what they do? I'm paying big money to keep my expertise intact. Where is my money's worth?

It is going to be a long semester.

Have you ever taken an online course and how did you like it:?

See results


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      :) LOL

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      Ha! I have a great class this year (4th grade), but my teaching partners -- not so lucky. I send them the How-many-days-left question several days a week. Just to rub it in.

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Sally...the term just 4 more months...ugh

    • Truckstop Sally profile image

      Truckstop Sally 

      7 years ago

      I too am a teacher (elementary), and I have no experience with on-line courses. But you know, there are lots of folks out there that just don't respond to e-mails. It is rude, and in your situation unthinkable -- since it is your only method of couumincation. How many days left in the school year? Ha!

    • Aley Martin profile imageAUTHOR

      Alice Lee Martin 

      7 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      Thank you Stephanie! My students tell me ALL the time that I am the only online prof who returns emails and responds to questions....! WHY? I wish these others would move over and allow those of us who love to teach to do so! LOL! I am a recent Tacoma resident, moving from the east coast and do enjoy Washington state!!! What a paradise it is. Best of luck to you in all of your endeavors!

      Learnfrom: thanks for commenting are must be the luck of the draw...but my luck seems to be a short straw of late! thank you for your support!

      Best to both!

    • LearnFromMe profile image


      7 years ago

      I had the experience of several online instructors who were unavailable at all times and very vague in their expectations, but at the same time, I have had instructors who encouraged learning from each other and answered questions at all hours of the day and night. I guess it's really the luck of the draw when it comes to online instructors.

      Great hub! Voted up. :)

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 

      7 years ago from New Jersey

      Aley, interesting hub. Before I get into my comment, I just have to say, it is great to see someone from Tacoma, I lived there for 10 years and miss it dearly.

      Your hub brings up some perennial issues in online instruction. I am also an online instructor that is earning a degree online at the same time. The biggest issue I have run across is professor's not responding to e-mails or questions at all. They put at the end of assignments (as a standard) to contact them if there are any questions. However, I emailed the instructor before the start of the course because there was a discrepancy between the book listed on the syllabus and the actual isbn. He still has not responded to my email and the class will be over in a week.

      I agree we and our instructors should be fostering critical thinking and inquiry. But your experience with the poetry professor is crazy. To limit people to one post is maddening.

      Good luck with the rest of your studies!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)