"There is no back row” is an online classroom adage. In a physical classroom, students can sit in the back row, where they are less likely to have eye contact and be called upon by the instructor at the front of the room.
“I used to sit quietly in the back row of class, but online, there is no back row” was said by a student and published in a February 2005 paper. “The adage that ‘there is no back row in an online class’ proves true” was cited in September 2006; “There is a saying in the online classroom — there is no back row” was cited in April 2013. No particular author has been credited with the adage.
John V. Davis
CRITICAL THINKING, EXPERIENTIAL EDUCATION,
AND CONTEMPLATIVE EDUCATION ONLINE
AUTHOR: John Davis, Naropa University
REVISED VERSION: Feb 10, 2005
NOTE: This paper originated as part of a panel discussion on Contemplative Education at Naropa University, March 12, 2004. Other panelists were Frank Berliner, Bobbie Louise Hawkins, Richard Brown, and Sharon Szabo. Jirka Hladis, director of Online Education at Naropa hosted and moderated the discussion.
As one student said, “I used to sit quietly in the back row of class, but online, there is no back row.” Really, there are a lot of students who would sit in the back row and not say much all semester long, unless they were really forced or pulled out. But in the online environment, there’s one row, and it’s all the front row.
The Tyee (British Columbia, Canada)
The Quiet Revolution in BC Schooling
Officials are downplaying huge changes online learning will bring.
By Nick Smith, 6 Sep 2006, TheTyee.ca
Students also get enough time to research an issue, reflect, ponder various perspectives and compose thoughtful responses. The adage that “there is no back row in an online class” proves true, partially because participation is easy to monitor and give credit for, but also because there is no pressure to “grab the mike” or be put on the spot.
Online Degrees Today
Interview: David B. Kelley, Ed.D, Executive Director Massachusetts Colleges Online
Posted by Marcy Lane
July 17th, 2007
David B. Kelley, Ed.D, Executive Director at Massachusetts Colleges Online (MCO) based in Massachusetts, joins us to discuss their programs.
5. There is some debate as to whether or not online degrees are as worthwhile as traditional degrees. What steps does Massachusetts Colleges Online take to ensure that online students are receiving the same education that they’d receive in a classroom?
Some people may have the mistaken impression that online courses are easier and that there isn’t as much rigor in an online course resulting in a potentially substandard degree. However, as anyone who has taken an online course learns first hand this is far from the case and there is no back row in an online classroom.
Inside Higher Ed
The Medium is Not the Message
August 11, 2009 - 3:00am
By Jonathan Kaplan
•Greater student engagement: In an online classroom, there is no back row and nowhere for students to hide. Every student participates in class.
Columbus (OH) C.E.O.
More schools are shifting coursework from the classroom to the computer. But students need to do their homework to make sure they’re getting what they pay for.
Posted: Wednesday, February 16, 2011 4:18 pm | Updated: 11:06 am, Thu Feb 17, 2011.
By Lisa Hooker
For those who think taking courses via computer is the easy way to a degree-just check in periodically while in your PJs-think again. Online learning is more challenging than most people realize, Graham says: “There’s no back row to hide and avoid class interaction. You can’t miss class and hope to show up at the last minute and pass. A student’s online activities are monitored closely for participation and assignment completion.”
Inside Higher Ed
No Back Row
June 15, 2012 - 3:00am
Within minutes of signing into the class – and this particular class was “live” (referred to as synchronous) – I realized that each of us was sitting in a front-row seat. The professor was going to call on each of us. He could also capture and share our computer screen with the other students.
New York (NY) Times
University Consortium to Offer Small Online Courses for Credit
By HANNAH SELIGSON
Published: November 15, 2012
Starting next fall, 10 prominent universities, including Duke, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Northwestern, will form a consortium called Semester Online, offering about 30 online courses to both their students — for whom the classes will be covered by their regular tuition — and to students elsewhere who would have to apply and be accepted and pay tuition of more than $4,000 a course.
The virtual classroom is a cross between a Google+ hangout and the opening sequence of “The Brady Bunch,” where each student has his or her own square, the equivalent of a classroom chair. However, with Semester Online courses, there is no sneaking in late and unnoticed, and there is no back row.
Learning Management Systems and Instructional Design:
Best Practices in Online Education
Edited by Yefim Kats
Hershey, PA: IGI Global (701 E. Chocolate Avenue, Hershey, Pennsylvania, 17033, USA)
One of the chapter authors tweeted that “there is no back row in the virtual classroom” (Rausch, 2009).
Diverse (Issues in Higher Education)
Diverse Conversations: Online Universities and Underserved Student Populations
April 30, 2013
by Matthew Lynch
There is a saying in the online classroom — there is no back row. Due to the nature of online learning, greater emphasis is placed on participation. Students must participate in discussions through online postings in their classrooms.