In a virtual or distance learning environment, social presence is essentially the feeling of being together. It can be quite challenging for both learners and instructors to project emotional and/or physical experiences in online learning, and this is a much-studied phenomenon. However, if we as instructors can consider this dimension of online learning in how we conduct our courses and interact with our students, we can help mitigate the stress and uncertainties of the sudden changeover to online delivery. Continue reading
September 4, 2020 marked another successful and fruitful discussion on Twitter, through the #teslONchat hashtag. We discussed #EdTech with John Allan – @mrpottz
This chat explored the topic of education technology in terms of instructors and administrators rethinking their previous choices of edtech for online teaching. Continue reading
These are unprecedented, uncertain times, and many students and educators are trying to find innovative ways to keep learning and stay engaged. Virtual learning has become an essential tool for many learners and educators, but there’s so much more to it than your traditional discussion boards. Fortunately, our Guest Blogger, John Allan, has created a thorough and informative webinar to share with the ELT community about virtual learning. Coping with COVID-19 Using Online Instruction is now available to TESL Ontario members and the public.Continue reading
Most of us are teaching our students in online mode. As the weeks pass, learners and instructors will experience emotions associated with their isolation. This will manifest as fatigue, boredom, depression, and apathy. In order to combat these, we, as instructional professionals must rise to the challenge to ensure that learning endures. Our efforts will provide our students with a sense of normalcy and purpose, and routine to make these troubled times less arduous.Continue reading
With the ever-increasing availability of technology in education, and ever-shrinking institutional budgets, there seems to be a lot of movement towards online learning. Blended learning combines face–to-face and online activities, and is much better suited to language learning than online learning alone. The opportunity to use language in real-time situations is important for developing good communication skills. Well-developed blended courses provide an experience for the student where the face-to-face and online parts work together to support the learning in an integrated way.
From an institutional point of view, online and blended courses have the ability to provide more revenue with less overhead owing to the cost savings realized by potentially allowing for delivery of the course to a greater number of students, while at the same time freeing up physical space. Pedagogically, students are not only able to learn how to use a language, but also how to use technology. A blended set-up looks like it is beneficial from many points of view. But how do students and teachers feel about blended language learning? Continue reading