The Advocacy for Online Classes According to Todd Gilman

Published: 2021-09-10 07:55:09
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Category: Education System

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The rhetorical analyzation of text is a process many readers use in order to think critically about a given text. In February of 2010 the Chronicle of Higher Education published an article written by Todd Gilman. Gilman’s article is about the potential benefits that can come from online classes if they are conducted properly. Todd Gillman is an academic librarian and online course instructor at Yale University. Gilman wrote this article for the readers of the Chronicle of Higher Education, which include many instructors and faculty of various institutions for higher education. Gillman’s writes on behalf of the online courses and advocates for their use in undergraduate and graduate schools.
Gillman begins his article by claiming that he retains little respect amongst his colleagues who consider him to be below traditional classroom teachers in ability and status. On page 100 of the text book Gillman claims that “I am like Pinocchio, not a real boy” this of course is a metaphor for Gillman being not quite a professor. Gillman acknowledges the criticisms but claims that online classes are not inherently good or bad; the success of an online course depends on course delivery. Todd Gillman states that the course delivery is equal parts student and teacher involvement. Gillman claims that good student typically do well in online courses because they are good workers. Teachers may not be as easily adaptable however, some good face-to-face teachers might not be successful as an online professor an example of an area where online classes could be more challenging is the flexibility of deadlines. In a classroom deadlines can be flexible with the pace of the course, online classes however must be rigidly constructed in order to not confuse the students. He expands upon this subject for the majority of the article; he explains the do’s and don’ts of instructing online classes. Gillman states that one advantage to online course work is that students in online classes are more involved for attendance and participation. He compares students in the classroom to baby birds waiting on the mother to give them a worm. Gillman disapproves of this teaching method and ends his article with a statement regarding the ideal role of the instructor “Not a sage on stage; a guide on the side.”Gillman used several rhetorical strategies in order to compose his article. Gillman uses the rhetorical aspect of logos multiple times throughout his article. One specific case is the example he gives in support of online classes that online courses require not only a present but an attentive mind which is not guaranteed to be the case in the classroom, this is a logical premise that supports the Gillman’s conclusion that online classes can be advantageous.
Perhaps the most used rhetorical aspect by Gillman is the appeal to pathos. In his article, Gillman gives his opinion on preferred courseware such as blackboard and canvas. He presents the needs of the students regarding courseware, then explains that most classroom courses online are not set up to be optimal for students, this appeals to pathos because he is appealing to the needs and beliefs of students. Gillman also uses an appeal to pathos through his two metaphors. Both the example of Pinocchio and the baby birds create feeling in the reader and so appeal to pathos.
Gillman appeals to ethos in the beginning of his article by establishing his credibility as an online instructor. This is an appeal to the ethos of the reader because he is attempting to be an authority on the topic because of his credentials.
Overall, Gillman provides a good look at the somewhat misunderstood aspect to higher education. There is a negative stigma associated with online courses and Gillman tries to combat that stigma with and appeal to ethos, pathos, and logos. He does a decent job of advocating for online classes. Gillman provides good points and the argument is structured well. This does not mean however than it is perfect, some evidence would have been nice for most of his claims regarding the best practices for conducting an online class.

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