Tuesday, November 27, 2012

challenging [chal-in-jing] (adj.)

Setting up an online course on Moodle is quite challenging. In the past, I worked with Highlearn (and was quite good at it) and this is the first time on Moodle for me. On the one hand it is going quite well, on the other hand I am having a lot of trouble getting everything to work the way I want. This course is taking me far more preparation time than a regular course battling with Moodle (and hopefully winning).

The word "challenging" comes from "challenge" which nowadays means a figurative invitation to a fight. This word underwent many changes. The figurative meaning came after the literal meaning "to challenge someone for a fight" which originated in the 1520s. This was based on the earlier meaning of "to accuse someone or to dispute something" from the Old French "chalone" (late 13th century). Chalone came from Vulgar (=ordinary) Latin "calumniare" , meaning "to accuse falsely" which in its turn came from the Latin  "calumnia" meaning "trickery". 

So although the word "challenge" started off with quite a negative connotation - trickery, falsely accusing-, it has made a remarkably positive turnaround now having a positive connotation - of something that invites you to battle it but that will usually let you win in the end.

Let's just hope that my feelings towards Moodle will evolve in the same positive manner. The battle continues... 

1 comment:

  1. I must say, that as students, we never think about our teachers' struggling, battles, and challenges. We don't know what happens backstage and, to be honest, we don't feel it should concern us. When a lesson takes place, we only see the outcome of the preparations. We have no idea how our teachers challenging themselves in order to give a lesson. As a new teacher, I understand now what you're writing. To some the difficulties are technical while to others they are more emotional, and sometimes they're both. So, peronally, I do appreciate teachers (and you among them)who find themselves dealing with things they don't always like and which make them struggling. Hopefully, as you wrote, we'll see these things as a challenge that in the end we'll gain from it.