Landscape Of Commitment

Rapid eLearning requires commitment on the part of students who are asked to track how they feel, think and motivate themselves. This process builds resilience.Click to Mix and Solve
In Managing at the Speed of Change. Darryl Connor writes about the 5 Phases of Positive Resistance.

  • uninformed optimism
  • informed pessimism
  • hopeful realism
  • informed optimism
  • completion or realisation

Diagram of The Landscape of Commitment

It is wise to show creative arts students how the phenomenon of commitment develops over time, if they are to embark on a journey through the ever changing and turbulent world of Rapid elearning.  If students  learn about these predicatable phases of commitment when enrolling they are much less likely to drop out when the going becomes rough and tough.  Learning appropriate ways to enter into and terminate commitments is an important aspect of a Creative Arts Education however; termination itself is less likely if students realise that discouragement is natural when tasks mount up and become overwhelming if students know how to chunk down information and how to reorganise and re orient themselves when the going gets tough.

When students come to creative art classes they rush through the doors bright eyed, bushy tailed and rearing to go. They want to be artists, dancers, singers and the like. Many see it as a life’s goal. Initially the excitement and the novelty is enough to sustain them. Students learn new techniques, which are intriguing and exciting and in this way themes become established.

Some students have a realistic idea of what is expected and others just think it will all be ‘fun.’  As the expectations of the subject become clearer, the novelty can wear off. For students to assimilate and consolidate techniques they may need to repeat them again and again until  mastery has been acheived. Themes may become less exciting as the students realise the extent to which they may need to research the topic. Concept development can be quite a ravelled and coinfusing experience.   Perhaps other exciting activities such as sport and recreation call.

As Students Become Overwhelmed They May Ask :  It Worth It?

For some the “honey moon” phase may end and the hard work doesn’t seem worth the effort after all!  Some find attributes of the creative arts classroom such as

  • finishing work, (realising)
  • persisting with difficult techniques, (mastery)
  • following through with themes until they are resolved, (concept developpment)
  • looking after own work and materials (professional approach)
  • staying organised,
  • submitting projects on time
  • exceptionally time consuming and therefor daunting.

Fronting Up for the Long Haul within the Context of Rapid eLearning

Within the context of Andragogy self directed learners will require students will always be reappraising their level of motive and commitment.  “Fronting Up” week after week and taking personal responsibility for working from a personal space can seem onerous for some.   Some students may start to drop out at this stage. Maybe the student is just not ready for this personal commitment. If facilitators sense that this is happening affirmation, support and understating make online learning opportunities more likely to succeed.

At this stage it is wise for students to

  • examine their own motives (should they return to the face to face classroom)
  • look at other options realistically (have they taken on too much – need to cut down socialising)
  • see out their commitment (stay out the distance for the sake of completing what they have started)
  • make appropriate negotiations to terminate (become aware that self direction is a long term training process that cannot be acheived over night)

Teachers Facilitating  the Development of Self Direction

Teacher can facilitate this change process by

  • talking honestly with the student
  • help the student look realistically at their reasons and motives
  • inform the student about other options be very sure to alert them if they are failing
  • welcome them to return when they have the time and the inclination to recommit to the Rapid eLearning programme
  • look into blending modes of instruction more efficiently

How Can other Community Members Help?

Co learners and supporters can ensure a positive transition when they

  • check with their peers about whether they are terminating their commitment for the right reasons
  • work with co learners so that they have an understanding about the nature of commitments
  • help the each other think about priorities and work on their goals and time management skills
  • discuss freely and how to free up the situation by terrminating full Rapid eLearning commitment appropriately by negotiating other options

If you have suggestions or have tried techniques that have worked with your classes please post about them to the discussion boards.


Connor,D.  (1993)  Managing At the Speed of Change. Random House; 1 edition

Copyright Jo Murphy

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