Lowenthal, P. R., & Thomas, D. (2010). Death to the Digital Dropbox: Rethinking student privacy and public performance. EDUCAUSE Quarterly, 33(3).
Perhaps one of the most often used, but seldom talked about, vestiges of the past carried over from traditional face-to-face courses into the online environment is the digital dropbox — or more specifically, the practice of having students submit their work privately. The digital dropbox is essentially a tool incorporated into most learning management systems that enables faculty to designate a virtual inbox where students can privately submit their assignments and later retrieve them (presumably with a grade and some type of feedback). While there might be a specific time when it pedagogically makes sense to have students turn in their work to a digital dropbox viewable only by the instructor and the student, we have found that most of the time it makes little sense to do so. In this article we argue for use of a public performance model and explain why.
Keywords: public performance, privacy, teaching presence, learning management system