- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: Delta Publishing Company(IL); UK ed. edition (January 1, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1905085354
- ISBN-13: 978-1905085354
- Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.3 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 1 customer review
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,479,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Teaching Online Paperback – January 1, 2010
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From the Author
It feels like a very long time ago, but in fact it was only 1997. Those were the early days of Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs), and I cut my teeth writing materials and tutoring on an online MA programme.
I learned the hard way. I'm primarily an educator, a face-to-face language teacher and teacher trainer. I knew next to nothing about technology back then. Apart from a technician in a T-shirt telling me (far too fast) how our online platform worked, I had absolutely no training. Suddenly I found myself running this full MA programme online, with real students, and it was sink or swim. I don't think I exactly swam gold medal style but I managed to keep my head above water, although it cost me many sleepless nights. The course had no classroom component at all. As a face-to-face trainer, I knew it was important to get the group to gel online, and I also had to help my learners find their way around the VLE - all at a distance.
Where to start? What to do? How to design interactive and meaningful tasks for my learners? How to make the whole experience enjoyable for them and for me? How to keep us all afloat - for two whole years? I really didn't know. Nevertheless, for six months I survived and group seemed to be coming along fine.
Then things changed. I took a six-week fully-online course run by a university in the UK.
A revelation! As a learner on a well-designed online course, I learned more in six weeks than in six months on my own. Not only important things about task design but, more importantly, I had the experience of being an online learner myself. It was a real eye-opener.
Although I consider myself an independent and self-motivated learner, I started to realise just how important tutor support is online, how a fast response time is fundamental, how being heard and responded to by both tutor and peers is vital, how tasks can be meaningful and collaborative. And praise! I needed praise from my tutor. Lots of it!
That's why Lindsay and I got together to write this book. Because, even now, there are still many of you out there who are asked to provide learners with online and blended (partly online) learning, but are given no support. You may get technical help with the VLE, but you often get no pedagogical support at all. We hope this book will provide it.