More and more students are saddled with the diagnosis of social anxiety or something similar. This means they can’t participate in class or show up at all and professors have to accept this and provide “alternative accommodations.”
The only alternative accommodation for people who aren’t there is online learning. Once we achieve a critical mass of students who are too sick to be anywhere but locked up at home, we’ll have no choice but to go online.
I used to be the greatest supporter of disability services. And then disability services became all about keeping students out of school and forcing us into the kind of teaching that can be canned and dropped online.
During the same period of time, the number of students in wheelchairs and with physical disabilities plummeted.
In the first year of college, I was so painfully shy that I would go hungry and thirsty all day to avoid the extreme suffering of having to buy a cup of coffee. But the courses I was taking all demanded constant and active participation. I didn’t lock myself at home with a diagnosis (which, thankfully, wasn’t readily available back then.) I cured myself. And I’m happier as a result than people who expect the world to modify itself to suit their individual quirks.
We are doing a disservice to the “socially anxious” students and paving the road to becoming online diploma mills in the end.