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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 01:51 am (UTC)
International Telecollaboration
This is a great challenge and instructional opportunity for learners and also for teachers if they decide to include it in their educational activities, in their lesson plan. As we have seen in our group activity today, during our online class, the international collaboration should be considered as one stage in the class activity, included there for a better approach to the native-like accent and pronunciation, for a wider informational approach to cultural aspects developed on one particular language across the world where that language is spoken as a native language or as a foreign/second language. But if the teacher decides to conduct a whole "distance" class activity, an online class, this will change the whole perspective of the lesson planning, it will have to be adjusted to the classic lesson plan but with many other implications connected to the learners linguistic and technological competence, to possible misfunctions or disconnections, to the level and amount of individual implication into the activities etc.
I personally found it very challenging and engaging but it gave us a lot of thinking about the way we organized the online lesson by means of various tools specifically designed for different activities: chat and VOIP for interaction, lexical tutor for vocabulary and spelling, blog and buddy/dialogue journals for the written output, teachertube for listening and learning new things connected to the content objectives as well. Even though they are especially designed for conversational purposes, these telecollaboration sessions should also have a content objective in order to give learners the chance to converse about a particular topic and learn from it, the chance to improve their vocabulary on a specific topic, become more culturally literate and be able to provide their critical thinking on the topics discussed. Its purpose is not only to reach a language goal (objective) but also to acquire some content information (content objectives). They can learn many new things, improve their foreign language command and enjoy the time spent with people somewhere else in the world. Their time dedicated to the activity passes faster and it is not boring at all.
Thank you for this opportunity.
Kind regards,
Mar. 30th, 2009 09:30 pm (UTC)
Re: International Telecollaboration
Yes indeed. The format of the lesson from the distance ed class was vastly different from that of our other classes. I would say it was also far less teacher fronted and relied a great deal more on independent self-direction from each student.


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