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Towards an effective use of audioconferencing in distance learning courses

Hampel, Regine and Hauck, Mirjam (2009). Towards an effective use of audioconferencing in distance learning courses. In: Hubbard, Philip ed. Computer Assisted Language Learning. Critical Concepts in Linguistics, IV. Present Trends and Future Directions in CALL. London: Routledge, pp. 74–96.

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In order to respond to learners' need for more flexible speaking opportunities and to overcome the geographical challenge of students spread over the United Kingdom and continental Western Europe, the Open University recently introduced Internet-based, real-time audio conferencing, thus making a groundbreaking move in the distance learning and teaching of languages. Since February 2002, online tutorials for language courses have been offered using Lyceum, an Internet-based audio-graphics conferencing tool developed in house. Our research is based on the first Open University course ever to deliver tutorials solely online, a level 2 German course, and this article considers some of the challenges of implementing online tuition. As a starting point, we present the pedagogical rationale underpinning the virtual learning and teaching environment. Then we examine the process of development and implementation of online tuition in terms of activity design, tutor training, and student support. A number of methodological tools such as logbooks, questionnaires, and observations were used to gather data. The findings of this paper highlight the complexity of the organisational as well as the pedagogical framework that contributes to the effective use of online tuition via audio conferencing systems in a distance education setting.

Item Type: Book Chapter
ISBN: 0-415-46539-7, 978-0-415-46539-7
Extra Information: Orginally appeared in Language Learning & Technology, 8(1), 2004, available online here.
Academic Unit/Department: Education and Language Studies
Education and Language Studies > Languages
Interdisciplinary Research Centre: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Item ID: 18378
Depositing User: Regine Hampel
Date Deposited: 16 Oct 2009 09:47
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2012 14:35
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