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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 12:52 am (UTC)
response to #1
I really enjoyed having class through skype today. Being able to voice chat was great! I think it definetely helps to have a collection of CMC(blog/email, chat, voice chat) in the "online" classroom. The blog can be used for posting documents and discussion boards. The chat can be used for asking the instructor questions during a session, and for the instructor to verify that students are online. The voice chat can be used for students to speak to each other in small groups and discuss assignments. And, students can email/blog their assignments in to the instructor. For keeping the class community oriented: I would pair students in groups of three. I would have the groups of 3 work together for the first couple weeks of class. Then, I would switch around the groups to create new groups of 3 to work together for the next couple weeks of class, etc. I would also schedule pairs of students to have 1-2 ten minute meeting(s) with the instructor during office hours throughout the semester. The meeting could be on voice chat; the instructor and two students could discuss how the class is going, future plans, etc.
One or two classes could include video chats or a virtual classroom to have the class together as a whole.
Mar. 30th, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
Re: response to #1
If I were to continue this, I too would mix up the groups, I think. However, I wonder if this would be optimal in all cases. Because I have a good feel for the class and the way people work as well as the different technical limitations some students faced (e.g. no voice access, excessive static or echo), I consciously engineered the groups in a certain way. I can see how an instructor with a brand new class would not have had the same advantage in forming work groups.


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