An open resource for sharing good practice
In the light of the COVID-19 crisis, the need to move to online learning has been a challenge for many higher education teachers who had no or little prior experience in this area. The THE Campus Digital Teaching Survey special report (2021) revealed that 36 percent of the respondents had no experience of online teaching and for those who had a ‘reasonable amount’ or ‘a lot’ of experience of online teaching prior to the pandemic, this was often asynchronous only. The challenges may seem to have been particularly daunting in practical subjects such as engineering, medical or science studies for which lecturers fear that the virtual platforms available do not have much relevance to real lab work.
Similarly, teaching Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), where teaching relies on classroom interaction to practise pronunciation, conversation, and communication skills, has presented serious challenges. The THE Campus Digital Teaching survey special report (2021) also revealed that almost 60 percent of respondents agreed that the pandemic has made them more open to sharing what they know about their topic – and nearly 80 percent have benefited from learning how their peers at other institutions have shifted to online teaching. In support of higher education MFL teachers pivoting to online teaching, a group of language teachers developed a free toolkit ‘Moving your language teaching online’ that can be downloaded, used, adapted, and modified by any MFL practitioners. The toolkit was launched at two different events. During the launch events, MFL teachers from all over the UK were able to discuss challenges and share their experience and knowledge about online language teaching.
This presentation explains the background to the toolkit, briefly introduces the toolkit and outlines an evaluation of its usage based on quantitative and qualitative data collected via analytics, surveys and contributions from participants at the two launch events. The presentation will include discussions on three distinctive aspects of the findings: first, the principles of online language teaching and whether these principles were easily adaptable to all UK higher education settings; second, whether the sharing of a toolkit is sufficient to support MFL teachers to shift to online teaching practices; and third, whether the toolkit encouraged its users to share good practice about online language teaching openly. This session will be of interest for researchers in open pedagogy and for those with a particular interest in whether open resources promote open practices.
Jump, P. (2021). THE Campus Digital Teaching survey special report. Times Higher (4-17 Feb, n. 2475). [online] Available at: https://www.timeshighereducation.com/campus/download-digital-teaching-survey-special-report. [Accessed 11 February 2021].
- open practice
- Open Pedagogy
- higher education