Developing the skills and techniques for online language teaching: a focus on the process
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This paper aims to describe the experience of two online tutors as they learn to teach the language to learners at a distance. The two tutors formed part of a cohort of eight participants who attended a four-week training course (Stage 1) followed by an eight-week online teaching practice (Stage 2) from November 2006 to February 2007 at Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia. Special attention is paid to recording the tutors' experience as they moved through the workshops and on to the teaching practice sessions, which began with individual teaching and later involved team teaching. In order to capture the details of the learners' experience, and their individual views on working in an online environment, a qualitative approach is taken to record the experiences of the two tutors. A second and complementary point of focus is on the design, structure and sequencing of the training materials that were used to guide and motivate the trainee tutors, first in helping them acquire the knowledge and skills required to use a Synchronous Learning Management System (SLMS) and second on helping them develop the strategies and techniques necessary for effective online pedagogy. The paper describes the rationale, structure and use of these training materials which promote action and reflection through a learning cycle. This project employs an SLMS called the Collaborative Cyber Community (3C). 3C has a wide range of features that trainee tutors learn how to use including synchronous cyber classrooms supported by a videoconferencing system called JoinNet, an interactive whiteboard, text chat and joint web browsing.
Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching
Communications Technologies not elsewhere classified
Education not elsewhere classified