E-Learning Tools Applied in Teaching English at the University Level

E-Learning Tools Applied in Teaching English at the University Level

Valéria Medárová (School of Management, Slovakia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5876-9.ch008
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Abstract

The chapter gives an overview of the current literature on e-learning goals and theoretical background of design of e-learning courses. Conditions of successful implementation of e-learning include technical, organizational, pedagogical, and psychological conditions. The chapter explains terms such as computer-assisted language learning and digital literacy. The author clarifies some issues related to efficient e-learning course delivery, including the learner and teacher perception. A practical example of an online Business English course in the Moodle system at the university level is analyzed. Student and instructor feedback provides insight into problems and obstacles in learning languages in the online mode. The chapter offers recommendations for online course design and lists issues that need special attention and that will be addressed in future research.
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Introduction

Economic, technological, and social development puts pressure on university graduates, who should be able to function in a knowledge society. To deal with these new challenges, many universities are starting to use a distance mode of course delivery (Peat & Franklin, 2002). Various forms of distance learning include fully Web-based (online) or hybrid (blended) courses with a mix of Web-based and traditional course delivery forms. Researchers and experts provide a variety of arguments in favor or against application of the online delivery of learning material, taking into consideration many psychological, pedagogical, linguistic, technical, economic, and other criteria. Online learning, also called e-Learning, is a fascinating and rapidly developing area of human activity, so we need to constantly follow the latest trends in order to take and apply the best possible solutions. Many controversial issues and unanswered questions require closer study and specification of e-Learning objectives and tools. The aim of this chapter is to provide various points of view justifying online learning and its prerequisites, with the specific focus on teaching the English language in the online mode at the university level. The author presents various factors that need to be considered and applied in designing of a successful online English course, with the special attention paid to the learning content design and the student-teacher interaction. The author describes design of her own English language courses in the learning management system Moodle. She summarizes collected student and instructor feedback. The chapter offers recommendations for online course design and lists issues that need special attention and that will be addressed in further research.

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