Training teachers for the multimedia age: developing teacher expertise to enhance online learner interaction and collaboration

Hampel, Regine (2009). Training teachers for the multimedia age: developing teacher expertise to enhance online learner interaction and collaboration. Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, 3(1) pp. 35–50.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/17501220802655425

Abstract

This article considers the skills that enable teachers to foster interaction and collaboration in online language learning. Drawing on Hampel and Stickler’s (2005) skills pyramid for online language learning and teaching, it presents the pre-service and in-service training programme that associate lecturers in the Department of Languages at the Open University undergo in the context of teaching languages with the help of online communication tools. Two projects are presented that shed more light on the expertise required to teach languages in virtual learning environments. The first project highlights the skills that are needed to teach in a complex online environment; the second one, a teacher training study, aimed to examine distance teachers’ experience of facilitating online group work, identify development needs, try out the potential of specific asynchronous and synchronous tools to support collaborative learning and trial possible development activities. The paper concludes by describing the kind of training programme that tutors require in order to acquire the skills identified.

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