This presentation will assist in preparing a novice online EFL teacher for not only the complexities, problems, responsibilities and challenges encountered but also the tremendous rewards that can be gained from the e-moderation process. The role played by the e-moderator in creating and teaching an online course in English as a Foreign language will be explored. In particular, the e-moderators beliefs and perceptions as well as the challenges encountered throughout the process. Furthermore, It will detail the relevant theories of online learning and show how they are represented through various models, creating a framework to assist the e-moderation process.
• What theories are associated with online
• Can frameworks successfully assist the
• What is the E-moderators role in an online
• What challenges can you encounter whilst
Online Language Learning
“It is evident that for online learning to
benefit ESL students, it must
incorporate social interaction,
collaboration and reflection.”
(Murugaiah and Thang, 2010:23)
Social Constructivist Theory (vygotsky, 1978)
“Moving from a teacher-centred learning
environment to a learner-centred collaborative
learning will be a key to successful
implementation of collaborative online
technology.”(Ng 2001: 199)
Communities Of Practice (Wenger,
“Teachers must learn to recognise the social
processes that technology enables and
understand how to support these processes
as a way to foster the emergence of
meaningful communities.” Wenger (2009: 191)
Framework for Online Learning
Five-Stage Model – Salmon (2004) E-Learning Ladder – Moule (2007)
“Clarification of key competencies is crucial for online language
teacher training, since teaching online requires skills that differ
from traditional language teaching as well as teaching other
subjects online” (Compton, 2009: 76).
Online Language Teaching Skills
Role of the e-moderator
“If they continue to define their roles narrowly, teachers will
find themselves increasingly marginalised in the rapidly-
changing educational landscape of the 21st century.” (Senior,
“online instructors may take on a variety of roles
depending on the tasks performed during the design and
delivery of the online course and influenced by learner
characteristics, content and course environment.”
Conceicao (2007: 6)
What skills and qualities
does an e-moderator need?
Online teaching is as much about creating, communication, support
and interactions as classroom teaching is: we still have the teacher,
the students, the language. The main difference is that the all-
important human elements are mediated by machines. (Hockly and
Clandfield, 2010: 31).
Top 10 Moderator Skills – (Hockly, 2010)
Developing a PLN
“A PLN refer[s] to the way we
integrate many sources of
information and communication
into our personal and
Hockly and Clandfield (2010: 108)
Reflective Practice: Online Journal
Journals prove to be valuable “as artifacts for
retrospectively interpreting patterns in experience
in order to develop deeper insights into one’s
practice.” Kitchen (2009: 48)
Too many tools spoil the
“Teachers must learn to recognise the social processes
that technology enables and understand how to support
these processes as a way to foster the emergence of
meaningful communities.” (Wenger, 2009: 191)
Salmon (2011: 125) “teaching online needs
careful planning and preparation, otherwise the
stories will continue of e-moderators being
overloaded and burnt out by the work.”
Synchronous Vs Asynchronous
From the research it was evident that synchronous tasks
were more collaborative and although asynchronous tasks
formed a basis for socialisation, considerably more
involvement and attention were needed to stimulate
asynchronous interactions.(Reflective Journal)
Theory to Practice
(Stages 4 & 5)
‘Second life really injected some much needed energy and provided a platform
for students to interact synchronously in a supportive environment.’ (e-moderators
“When planners make such evaluation a regular part of the
curriculum, they are in the enviable position of constantly being
able to gather and analyse information to be used in changing,
developing and upgrading their program” (Brown (1995:226)
Access and Socialisation
“The technical help was good. SL was a
challenge, but the group meeting and
exploring together helped a lot” (evaluation
extract, see Appendix 9.1).
“The most important thing I gained from this
course is friendship” (evaluation extract, see
Knowledge Construction and
“It was very interesting to see, that when we
live in different countries and [have] a
different upbringing, we have something in
common. The love for music and nature, the
dream to travel to other countries and learn
about people at the other end of the world”
(evaluation extract, see Appendix 9.3).
The end is just the beginning.
‘Successful online learning depends on teachers
and trainers acquiring new competencies, on their
becoming aware of its potential and on inspiring
learners, rather than mastering technology.’
Ten tips for new e-moderators
1.Experience what it’s like to interact and learn online.
2.Consider social cultural factors and pedagogy when designing and
implementing an online language course.
3.Develop a PLN.
4.Carefully select appropriate Web 2.0 tools to encourage, enrich
socialisation and complement constructivist learning.
5.Encourage both synchronous and asynchronous interaction.
6.Understand the temperamental nature and inconsistencies
experienced when using technology.
7.Provide continual support and empathy when introducing new
8.Continually encourage and nurture interaction.
9.Monitor and evaluate students interaction and participation.
10.Stay open-minded and modify practice in accordance with new
“There’s no substitute for well-trained
educators who, through careful planning
and intensive engagement with
technological, pedagogical and broader
issues, can maximise the educational
relevance of digital technologies.”
Pegrum (2009: 53)
• Blog-efl http://blog-efl.blogspot.kr/
• E- Moderation Station http://www.emoderationskills.com/
• Isil Boy’s Blog http://isilboy.edublogs.org/
• Nik’s Learning Technology Blog http://nikpeachey.blogspot.kr/
• Teacher Reboot Camp http://shellyterrell.com/
• Teacher Training Videos http://www.teachertrainingvideos.com/
• That’s Life http://slife.dudeney.com/
• Virtual Round Table http://www.virtual-round-table.com/
References• Brown, C. J. D. (1995) The elements of Language Curriculum, A systematic approach to program development. Boston: Heinle and Heinle.
• Compton, L. K. L. (2009). Preparing language teachers to teach language online: A look at skills, roles, and responsibilities. Computer Assisted Language
Learning, 22(1), 73-99.
• Conceicao, S. C. O. (2007). Teaching strategies in the online environment. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
• Hample, R., & Stickler, U. (2005). New Skills for new classrooms: Training tutors to teach languages and learning online (3rd ed.). Cambridge: MIT Press.
• Hockly, N., & Clandfield, L. (2010). Teaching online: Tools and techniques, options and opportunities. Surrey: Delta Publishing.
• Kitchen, J. (2009). Narrative self-study. In Tidwell, D. L., Heston, M. L., & Fitzgerald, L. M. (Eds.). Research methods for the self-study of practice. Dordrecht:
• Moule, P. (2007). Challenging the five-stage model for e-learning: A new approach. ALT-J, Research in Learning Technology, 15(1), 37-50.
• Murugaiah, P., & Thang, S. M. (2010). Development of interactive and reflective learning among Malaysian online distant learners: An ESL instructor’s
experience. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, 11(3), 21-41.
• Ng, K-C. (2001) Using E-mail to Foster Collaboration in Distance Education. Open Learning, 16(2): 191-200.
• Pegrum, M. (2009). From blogs to bombs: The future of digital technologies in education. Crawley: UWA Publishing.
• Salmon, G. (2002). E-tivities: The key to active online learning. London: Kogan.
• Salmon, G. (2007). The Tipping Point. ALT-J: Research in Learning Technology, 15(2), 171-172.
• Salmon, G. (2011). E-Moderating: The key to teaching and learning Online (3rd ed.). London: Routledge.
• Senior, R. (2010). Connectivity: A framework for understanding effective language teaching in face-to-face and online learning communities. RELC Journal,
• Vygotsky, L. (1978). Mind in Society. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
• Wenger, E. (1998). Communities of Practice. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Wenger, E. (2009). Digital habitats: Stewarding technology for communities. Portland: CPsquare.
Best of luck! Have fun!
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