Note that these are extreme reactions that follow tentative explorations. Something about the "amplifier affordance" must be translating tentative experiences to extreme formulations. That raises several follow-up questions:
- Does the affordance appear to be going to extremes itself, and inducing "monkey see monkey do" imitation behaviors?
- Does the affordance send a message of exclusivity, superiority or intolerance which transforms the experience of the learner into feeling excluded, inferior or rejected?
- Does the affordance prescribe a range of tolerable participation, interaction and contributions that excludes what the learners are ready, willing and able to share?
- Does the affordance downplay early signs of student engagement while making a big deal out of controlling the conversation, staying on message and covering the material?
- Does the affordance send mixed messages like "do as I say, don't do as I do" or "do what's required, don't recognize toxic patterns in this relationship"?
Fixing the negative amplification is not easy at the level of the affordance. Like the steaming tea kettle that will explode by plugging the hole that's whistling, there's a need to find a way to turn down the fire producing the steam, not fix the affordance. Situations like these work themselves out when they are open to user feedback, seeking to align with user experiences and receptive to user ideas for improvements. Discovering the tool plays into amplified disengagement gets regarded as a gift, lesson or invitation to collaborate. of course, the opposite reaction occurs in closed systems devoted to the use of the affordance "at all cost" without regard to whether it's working or how it effects the users.