Teacher autonomy in multiple-user domains: supporting language teaching in collaborative virtual environments

Schwienhorst, Klaus (1999) Teacher autonomy in multiple-user domains: supporting language teaching in collaborative virtual environments. Journal of Information Technology for Teacher Education, 8 (2). pp. 199-214. ISSN 0962-029X

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14759399900200060

Abstract

Abstract The concepts of teacher and learner autonomy have played an important role in the context of language teaching and the Internet over the past few years. The full potential of Internet resources, even authentic information resources, has largely remained unused for language learning and teaching. Organisational and affective factors have discouraged many teachers from using the Internet for language teaching. The Internet-enhanced object-oriented multiple-user domain(MOO) can serve as a tool to select and enhance Internet resources, while at the same time expanding the possibilities of the traditional classroom. Its text-based, synchronous and asynchronous communications resources are integrated within a common interface. Its support mechanisms are good for language teachers, who are only too often left alone with the new technology. The author argues for an intricate interdependence of pedagogy and technology, and sees teacher autonomy and the MOO as a promising combination for language teaching purposes. The organisational framework of a particularly promising language teaching context is outlined: the combination of tandem learning and MOO in a project involving information and communications technology courses at the German Fachhochschule Rhein-Sieg and Trinity College Dublin. The opportunities of a written medium in real time for the development of literacy and higher cognitive skills are considerable. The MOO's modular nature and widespread implementation make it a technology that is here to stay, and it can serve to create not only a lasting community of learners, but also of educators around the world.; The concepts of teacher and learner autonomy have played an important role in the context of language teaching and the Internet over the past few years. The full potential of Internet resources, even authentic information resources, has largely remained unused for language learning and teaching. Organisational and affective factors have discouraged many teachers from using the Internet for language teaching. The Internet-enhanced object-oriented multiple-user domain(MOO) can serve as a tool to select and enhance Internet resources, while at the same time expanding the possibilities of the traditional classroom. Its text-based, synchronous and asynchronous communications resources are integrated within a common interface. Its support mechanisms are good for language teachers, who are only too often left alone with the new technology. The author argues for an intricate interdependence of pedagogy and technology, and sees teacher autonomy and the MOO as a promising combination for language teaching purposes. The organisational framework of a particularly promising language teaching context is outlined: the combination of tandem learning and MOO in a project involving information and communications technology courses at the German Fachhochschule Rhein-Sieg and Trinity College Dublin. The opportunities of a written medium in real time for the development of literacy and higher cognitive skills are considerable. The MOO's modular nature and widespread implementation make it a technology that is here to stay, and it can serve to create not only a lasting community of learners, but also of educators around the world.

Item Type: Article
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2015 18:19
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2015 18:20
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/3666

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