Lessons Learnt From ERT: An EAP Case Study at a Japanese University

Lessons Learnt From ERT: An EAP Case Study at a Japanese University

Bjorn Fuisting, Louis Lafleur, Robert Andrews, Trevor Raichura, William Fusco
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-6684-4148-0.ch005
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This study gauges student satisfaction in EAP courses delivered via Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) in the Fall semester in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic using data from 529 Japanese university students' questionnaire responses. It follows up from a similar study conducted during the Spring semester and sought to determine whether changes to the method of teaching based on the Spring feedback resulted in better student experiences of ERT. Students evaluated modes of teaching (on demand, livestream, and mixed), various online tools (learning management system [LMS], teacher-created videos, Google Forms, Flipgrid, vocabulary software, Edmodo, and Zoom) and rated their overall satisfaction with online English classes. This chapter includes a background on the response to COVID-19 in Japan and how it shaped higher education, a summary of the Spring semester student experience, and the results of the questionnaire, which showed that students had a far higher overall satisfaction with ERT courses in the Fall semester.
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Online Learning versus Emergency Remote Teaching

Although EAP courses have been conducted online prior to the pandemic, Emergency Remote Teaching (ERT) has been distinguished from other forms of online learning primarily in terms of preparedness and choice. Hockly (2015) has divided online language learning into categories such as formal courses offered by universities and schools, or informal modes of learning such as virtual worlds, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), online language learning communities or mobile apps. Students, teachers and administrators who have been involved with such online learning courses have typically been able to tailor their expectations to the mode of learning whereas ERT takes place due to external factors beyond the control of the stakeholders. Hodges et. al (2020) observe that “well-planned online learning experiences are meaningfully different from courses offered in response to a crisis or a disaster” (paragraph 1). They point out that whereas online courses typically require six to nine months of planning and preparation, ERT typically occurs without the time for instructors to be trained in the new teaching medium, and often without the infrastructure and careful administrative planning of an online course. This also means that institutional memory is lacking as instructors are unable to share tried and tested methods, and students may begin courses without the requisite computer skills or equipment. In addition, online learning can benefit from institutional budgeting in ways that ERT often cannot. An overview of the differences between online learning and emergency remote teaching is provided in Table 1.

Table 1.
Online learning vs emergency remote teaching
Online LearningEmergency Remote Teaching
Instructors have experience and knowledge with online platforms.Instructors may have no experience with online instruction and platforms.
Delivery methods have been planned and prepared over a period of months or years.Delivery methods have to be urgently chosen.
Materials are designed for online teaching.Materials are designed for classroom teaching.
Platforms and infrastructure receive suitable investment.Platforms and infrastructure may not be up to the task or budgeted for.
Online learning is chosen by students.Online learning is not chosen by students.

(Reproduced from Lafleur et al, 2021)

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