Breaking down the barriers of online teaching: Training TESOL teachers in a virtual environment
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This paper examines the theoretical considerations of pedagogy, educational and instructional design in building a language education program, through flexible mode content delivery and online teaching. The concept of training teachers online is still controversial and this paper addresses some of the concerns raised in the professional literature. The aim of the paper is to present a theoretical framework developed for an online Master of Arts in TESOL program at Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia. The framework adopted for the project incorporates a range of approaches to learning and teaching, and it addresses the ongoing debate of the place of teacher-centred approaches within education. The research methodology adopted for the design of the project is the iterative version of the ADDIE, a model of instructional design. The paper uses quantitative and qualitative data to support the theoretical underpinnings, and it presents examples of flexible learning resources, designed and developed for the Master of Arts in TESOL program. The theoretical approach and the teaching practices proposed in this project contribute an effective research-based framework for teaching in a virtual environment.
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