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Moving Into an Online Learning Environment

Moving Into an Online Learning Environment

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Published by Jonathan Acuña
Blended Learning
Blended Learning

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Jonathan Acuña on Jul 21, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/19/2013

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ELT article published byProf. Jonathan Acuñaat http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com/
Moving into an Online Learning Environment
While teaching on a F2F classroom, several things are taken for granted,and thus one assumes they are actually happening. Among this key
 “
things
” 
the instructor cannot overlook the importance of his/her personalpresence, the concluding remarks by learners at the end of a course, one
’ 
sfeedback for pupils, and our social presence via social media. But how canwe move all these into a VLE (Virtual Learning Environment) to triggersome great learning in one
’ 
s students?Connect with students: As it may happen in a F2F course, teachers oftentimes create differentsorts of presentations to let students know who they are, and that can alsobe true in a virtual environment. An instructor can create a video, aslideshow, or a Voki avatar to introduce him/herself, to explain what his/her teaching philosophy is, to let students know what his/her interests
 
ELT article published byProf. Jonathan Acuñaat http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com/
and hobbies are, and to share with them what motivate him/her to becomea teacher.In an online scenario, the use of videos, audio recordings, slideshow
 –
withor without audio-, and Voki avatars can become a great way to startcreating, fostering, and nourishing a Class Culture (Anderson 2004) thatcan consolidate one
’ 
s student learning community. This experience of sharing a bit of one
’ 
s life can create this
 “
human
” 
bond that people attimes think cannot be developed in an online course.Student feedback sessions: At the end of a F2F course it is indispensable to have some sort of feedback session with one
’ 
s students to get their concluding remarks abouttheir experiences in class. This student feedback can be gathered bymeans of a written or recorded reflection, as a class discussion in which theinstructor is present, in some sort of forum discussion, or by using SurveyMonkey.Any of these methods can help the teacher to gather studentimpressions to improve or/and modify the way things are done in thecourse.In VLEs the same sort of feedback-gathering techniques can be effectivelyapplied. No matter on what kind of teaching scenario one is working on,the central idea behind
 “
concluding remarks
” 
is to gather student feedback to showcase betterment in one
’ 
s teaching and coaching practices. And let
’ 
snot forget to thank students for their feedback.
 
ELT article published byProf. Jonathan Acuñaat http://reflective-online-teaching.blogspot.com/
Teacher
’ 
s Feedback:In F2F courses, at the end of learning tasks, it is essential that learners getsome sort of feedback to know if they are doing things as expected. In thisparticular kind of teaching scenario, one usually provides this type of inputto students on a one-to-one basis with the sole intention of giving generalsuggestions and comments to enhance students
’ 
learning process. Thisfeedback makes students feel their progress and teacher
’ 
s guidance toachieve the course goals.In an online classroom, feedback is obviously not provided on a F2F basis,but it can be very effectively provided to students in different ways.Feedback can be made available for learners via email (privately or publicly
 –
depending on the teacher
’ 
s intention -), or it can be supplied viarecordings (a video or audio recording). A simple and easy to use onlinetool to provide audio feedback for one
’ 
s students is Vocaroo.This can be sent to students via their favorite social media, email, and the like.Social media presence:The fact in today
’ 
s world is that students are in sync with some sort of social media. And their presence in this type of media can be utilized byinstructors to make themselves visible for their students, too. In a F2Fenvironment, teachers are available in class, or they have some student

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