Every month I sit back on my favorite chair and dig deep into my memory to see how things have been going on this counseling course.
I reflect on how things are, how things were and how things will be, on this online program.
In this state of reflection, certain common comparisons have made me realize that I must be ready to declare a state of urgency on this course.
In the last few months, I have seen students show complete lack of interest in this course as well as in allied activities.
Last year, students would literally be begging me again and again to increase their study and assignment load.
This year, even I tempt students with cash prizes and gifts, I see that most students do not submit quality assignments.
Last year, students would have group activities, chat and interact with each other, and with me, almost every single day.
This year, the students do not even know each other much, forget about interacting and chatting in the free chat room provided.
Last year, students would have the decency to tell us when they were going on leave or would be absent for longer than a week.
This year, students tell me after they come back from their break, and worse still they blame me for not giving them anything to do.
Last year, there were just 10 ebooks provided for the entire course and each student knew the same almost inside out.
This year, the students have not even downloaded more than 10 ebooks and probably haven't read the ones they downloaded either.
Last year, assignments were submitted on time, and students would wait in great anticipation for the next set of assignments.
This year, I have had to literally beg my students to even start working on their assignments.
Last year, there was a genuine love, respect and collective admiration for the director of the course.
This year, students believe in challenging the knowledge and the authority of the director at every moment they can.
Last year, there were zero incentives given to the students to complete assignments and take part in course activities.
This year, even with incentives given to students, most of these students will not take part in regular course activities.
Last year, every single student wanted to make a difference in the lives of people with their counseling skills.
This year, almost every student on this course does not even correctly understand the term counseling skills.
Last year, students would take the time to read every forum post and would reply to the same too.
This year, students do not even bother to acknowledge most of the posts posted on the forum.
These are just a few of many, many differences I have seen in this program in just 10-12 months.
In fact, even the older students on the program have become quite lazy, lost interest in things and are quite arrogant when they email me.
It is time to turn back the time and ensure that this course (which was the first online psychology related course in India) survives this "sorry" phase.
One thing is really great, I have managed to get down the number of students to almost exactly what it was last year, around 15-18 students.
So, in the next few days and weeks I will monitor the performance of every student on this course and if I do not find some similarities in you in comparison to the students of last year, within a month, then suitable action will be taken.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post, it is one of the few posts on this course forum that you will need to read again and again.
At the end of the day, when I rest my head on my pillow, I will get sound sleep only if I know that "all is well" on this program.
If I continue to go to sleep worrying about how things are going on this course then I will be stressed out, just like so many of you are.
Some more seriousness is needed and plenty of dedication, focus, resolve and determination on both your part and mine.
I firmly believe that 30 days can make the difference. After that, I will make this course shine like it did last year, no matter what measures need to be taken to reach that high quality level.
And, yes, I do believe that somewhere in the middle I may have lost my focus and resolve too but I am dedicated and determined enough to ensure it comes back.
Make no mistake, this post is not for me, it is for you!
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