When teaching is learning: A personal account of learning to teach online

Lewis, Timothy (2006). When teaching is learning: A personal account of learning to teach online. CALICO Journal, 23(3) pp. 581–600.

URL: https://calico.org/


This article is aimed at educators who find themselves facing the need to develop their e-teaching skills, with little or no formal training or institutional support. It explores how this can be achieved using the notion of "teacher autonomy" in combination with standard professional development measures for language teachers. The article recounts an attempt to develop my own e-teaching skills, within the framework of an 8-week collaborative project. In the course of this project, I learned to use synchronous audiographic conferencing software (Lyceum, as developed by the Open University (OU), U.K.) in combination with an asynchronous virtual learning environment (WebCT) to teach English for specific purposes to a group of 14 Masters degree students in a French university. Largely unfamiliar at the outset with the pedagogic use of the software, I consider how critical analysis and reflection (by means of a teaching journal) can be used in combination with observation by a "critical friend" to inform pedagogic decisions in pursuit of a nondirective approach to teaching and learning. I also address the affective dimension of such a process, especially the stresses to be dealt with by the novice tutor in a multimodal environment. Where there are limits to the approach adopted, I identify those limits.

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