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Distance Ed Class Reflections

Post your reflections from the distance ed class of 3/19 here at the end of class. As a reminder, here are the following 4 prompts you can reflect upon. Although you only need to reflect on 1, if the mood strikes you, I encourage you to post further reflections in your OWN blogs.

  1. One of the criticisms levied against distance ed courses is the difficulty teachers face in establishing a sense of community among remotely located participants. What strategies might an instructor employ to foster a sense of community?

  2. “Think of a class you have taught or are currently teaching. If you were to move 50% to 100% of the class time to an online format, what would the change require or involved? How would it require you, as a teacher, to change or adapt?” (Sánchez-Serrano’s, 2008, p. 173)

  3. According to Nancy, one of the Spanish language distance education teachers surveyed by Sánchez-Serrano’s (2008), “the online curriculum should be designed to match, as closely as possible, the needs of the environment and of the students, while not attempting to imitate its face-to-face counterparts as the perfect model” (p. 157).How should a curriculum for online language instruction differ from a curriculum for face-to-face language instruction?

  4. Reflecting on the group project you just completed, what are some of the greatest challenges instructors would face in attempting to set up an international telecollaboration in a face-to-face language class?


Mar. 20th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC)
An online class
I am responding to question 2. If I taught the Spanish class I used to teach as an on-line class, the first way I would have to adapt is to be willing to spend lots of time on the computer. I would need to communicate individually with students via e-mail in order to receive assignments and give feedback, and answer questions. I would also need to spend time with each student in some kind of synchronous CMC, such as in chat, to give students opportunities to produce oral language. I would also need to adapt the curriculum considerably in order to create collaborative group activities, and to give students ways to do the assignments and turn them in on-line. I would want to take advantage of all the authentic material on-line, so I would want to incorporate that into the curriculum as well. Of course, I would need to become very familiar with all the technology, and make sure there is a structure in place that gets the students familiar with it as well and provides resources for them when they have problems. I would prefer that the school have a technology go-to person for this, but that would probably be unlikely. I think it would be a major undertaking to convert the course to a 50-100% on-line format! I would prefer to start with a curriculum designed for such a format (like in the article we read), and then tweak it and add to it for my purposes.
Mar. 30th, 2009 09:28 pm (UTC)
Re: An online class
Indeed! I fear that when administrative decisions require the conversion of previous F2F classes to partial or exclusively online distance ed formats, very little consideration is made of the amount of work this entails. Perhaps it's always easier to build a house from scratch than to try and remodel an existing one.


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