Follow US:

Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Student Support in Online Only Courses

Difficulty: 0

Oh everyone and welcome to today's

Cambridge University Press

ELT webinar I'm very pleased to welcome

as today's presenters Deirdre safer's

and Gordon Lewis Deirdre is a teacher

trainer who's been involved in teaching

and teacher development for the past 14

years and has taught English in seven

countries over the course of her career

Gordon Lewis is vice president laureate

languages at laureate international

universities and he's also on the

editorial board alt journal Deirdre will

be starting ending the talk and Gordon

will be presenting in the middle so over

to you Deirdre for coming today this is

a topic that I care deeply about so I'm

very happy to share all of this with you

and to have as my speaking partner

Gordon Lewis who knows loads about it as

well having put lots of this in practice

himself so what we're talking about

today is supporting online-only students

so students who are studying only online

so they don't come to class they don't

have the backup of talking to a teacher

so how do we sort out their problems how

do we make sure they're happy all the

way through the course and stick to the

course until the very end so to do that

we're going to go through a number of

different different sections so look at

what we mean by online only courses and

what our preconceptions might be around

online only so do we think it's a

particular kind of course or is it self

access or what do we what do we think

about how it happens for the student and

how it functions for the teacher and for

the institution we'll also look at the

risks involved in having students online

only as opposed to having some sort of

anchor within a face-to-face experience

and we'll talk about teacher presence

what that means and how it can reduce

those risks for the students for the

teachers and for the institution and at

that point I will then hand over to

Gordon who will talk about how it

functions on an institutional level so

what these what these risks what this


and how those behaviors have to be

organized by the institution and

supported by managers and by the

organization as a whole I'm and he will

give you some examples of how this has

worked in practice laureate universities

and some lessons learned from their

experience of doing these doing these

courses and at the end and you have a

chance to win a place on a Cambridge

online-only course so it's a teacher

training course and I'll talk to you a

little bit more about that when we come

to the end so be your chance to

experience the online only learning

environment from the students

perspective which will be able to help

you to support students knowing what

their what their experience has been so

what do we mean by online err on little

ah let me start that question again what

do we mean by online only so there is a

lot of there are a lot of ways that

online only can be delivered so in some

situations it does just mean self-study

so there's a lot of information on the

internet there are courses there are

resources students can find things they

can have their own portfolios find

resources that they can use and work

towards their own goals purely

self-study and unsupported what we're

looking at today is when we add in an

apple for teacher where there will be a

teacher who is involved in that journey

so they may be looking at self-study

resources they may be using a platform

like Moodle for example where they find

specific things that a teacher has

assigned to them and they may be doing

communicative activities with other

learners as part of a pre-arranged

course but there will be a teacher who

is behind the experience so either in

terms of managing activities assigning

assigning activities for them to do

self-study looking at their grades

making decisions and giving them advice

about how to go forward so the teacher

is a very important part of this

online-only experience so all it means

the only part that's

from this is the actual physical

classroom the interaction we would

expect which would appear online either

asynchronously which means not at the

same time so perhaps in forums or blogs

or wiki's so there are various ways that

people can communicate that way to

achieve a goal or live in a session like

today I wouldn't recommend you do an

English language lesson with 57

attendees necessarily you're not going

to get great interaction and you know

you will get some interaction but not as

much as you would hope for in a

face-to-face class so there are

considerations to take you can't just go

online and assume that we can we can

teach hundreds of people all at the same

time because the numbers don't

necessarily match up so online only

everything but the classroom and the

teacher is definitely involved so I said

there was no interaction but I lied so

this is one little part of audience

participation I need your thoughts so

there are a number of preconceptions

that people have about online only

courses so I have a few of them here and

I would just like you to put in the chat

box can you read the read the quotes and

then I want you to put in the chat box

whether you think they are true or false

so they're numbered so online only

courses are cheaper to run and easier to

set up than face-to-face courses if you

think it's true put one T in the chat

box if you think it's false put one F so

I'm going to give you about 30 seconds

to read the quotes and decide whether

they are true or false


okay we're stopping in five four three

two one

okay so let's have a look at the first

one online only corsets are cheaper to

run and easier to set up than

face-to-face courses we've got a lot of

true couple of false I'm not sure okay

it is in fact not true at all I'm

self-study courses potentially but even

as soon as you put the word course on it

it becomes a much bigger undertaking

especially at this start so when you've

got your students are starting they've

registered with you they want to do a

course you were their teacher you have a

lot of training to do potentially on the

platform that you're using on how it's

going to work you'll need to set up a

calendar potentially to give the

students an idea of what you're going to

expect from them when this kind of

predictability is really important for

students when they're working online

because if they can't come to you at any

moment and ask you I'm sorry could you

explain that again or I'm not quite sure

when the assignment is due you need to

be very clear and a structured way from

the very beginning and that is

additional setup so there's potentially

if you're an institution your training

your teachers and working on this your

training your students in how to do this

you're setting up the systems themselves

making sure everyone can get access

which is not always an easy thing and

you're also dealing with people's

feelings about being potentially less

confident working online than they are

working face-to-face so they feel that

you know they might find something as

more of a panic situation than they

would if there was somebody sitting next

to them who they could they could just

as quickly

so in actual fact they are much more

complex to set up at the beginning than

then you would imagine but there is a

preconception out there that that they

are much simpler and for number two let

me scroll back up and see what people

have said this was false okay students

are digital natives so they don't need

any training on how to learn online this

is completely false the whole term

digital natives is a very dangerous

description I think there are two ways

that this is dangerous one is for the

people that we are describing as digital

natives yes we do have students who are

better at Facebook and uploading videos

and sharing links and all sorts and

editing things in quite a fancy-looking

way then then teachers are but that

doesn't necessarily mean that they can

use any of those skills to any advantage

when they are trying to study if you

give a student who is fifteen you ask

them to read Harry Potter or you ask

them to read English grammar in use I

bet you that they will choose Harry

Potter it's fun it's different it's not

grammar and it's not studying so once

your online sure they'll they'll be able

to turn things on and not panic if the

screen goes black but they still don't

have the learning skills to to manage

their time to manage their objectives to

work towards those objectives to make

sensible decisions so you have you have

just as much work to make sure that

students are capable of managing the

experience as they would be face to face

number three online only courses are

less work for teachers I'm just

scrolling back I've got a false false

false another false

and another false brilliant okay online

only courses as we've said if it were if

it was a self-study only course sure

the teachers are not involved but we're

talking about a course where the teacher

is very much involved they're still

assigning tasks they're still checking

results they're still focusing on

students work in online discussions

they're still interacting with people

via message boards or in other ways but

they they are very much part of the

students experience and therefore it is

as much work for them as it was before

let's reliance on the availability of

physical space number four

true true yes this is this is the number

one change is that you don't need a room

so you do need a room we are there are

three of us in the room here talking to

you well involved in the speaking which

is it is important but you don't need we

don't need a room that will accommodate

60 plus people we need a lot less space

than that and the last one courses where

students only study online are a viable

alternative to face-to-face or blended

courses number five can see any fives

I've true lovely teachers great yes they

are they are most definitely a viable

alternative but there are a number of

considerations to to take and there are

various structures you need to put in

place there are people who need to be in

place and there is there is an

organization that goes behind it that is

not dissimilar to a blended course or a

face-to-face course and without those

the online courses is not that they're

not necessarily as viable but with

thought and planning they can definitely

be a viable alternative so if we look

down at the main difference really in

terms of studying face-to-face blended

online one of the main things

would put students off is after studying

online his teacher availability is if

you think about all those students who

travel to the UK the states any

english-speaking country for the summer

they go to speak English they go to

speak English to people and they go to

do it with a person so the availability

of the teacher is really really

important and it's not something we want

to take lightly so if we think about it

in terms of temperature in face-to-face

teaching the the temperature of teacher

availability is very high there there

even when you're doing your homework

they've assigned it and they're gonna

look at it so that they're very much

present in in the students experience

and then obviously they have 90 minutes

a couple of times a week perhaps where

they can ask questions directly where

they can give you feedback on your work

straight away then we move into blended

learning where part or or so either a

small part or a large part of your

experience is moved into an online realm

and your face-to-face contact is reduced

so your teacher availability temperature

drops a little bit so it's still quite

there it's still very important but it's

not it's not gone completely so we move

into moderated online learning and the

perception is that the teacher

availability is definitely less so

they're physically not there so you

can't just kind of tap them on the arm

and ask a question so it is definitely

cooler and then when we move into

self-study online it goes right down to

the bottom so in order to make sure that

the learning experience that is entirely

online remains at a high temperature

what we need to work on is something

called teacher presence so you're not

there but the teacher must be present in

the minds and hearts of the students who

are doing the studying when they're

online so I'll come to explain a little

bit more about how that can function and

how you can make that happen

but I'm just going to look at what the

risks are if we don't do if we don't

make any if we don't raise the

temperature of teacher presence so the

risk involved in there being no teacher

no guide is the

we'll have students who perhaps feel

isolated even if they're working in a

group if there's nobody leading that

group it can splinter it can go off in

two different different directions

without necessarily coming back into

being something inserted that works

towards objectives and achieves goals so

the the lack of feedback can feel like

okay well I've tried to do this activity

and yeah I got seven out of ten but I

don't really know what to do about that


whereas a teacher will be able to look

at that and identify what the main areas

of improvement need to be and give the

student advice on where to go next

so the feedback part is really really

important and then again with no with no

guide there's a lack of interpersonal

and collaborative tasks even if you have

a course on on a platform like Moodle

where people can work together using

forums if there is no task to do in the

forum the students will go on there

maybe say hi in the forum they'll ask a

question about something technical but

they're not necessarily going to get a

proper response and a discussion isn't

necessarily going to ensue if you look

at forums for software for example or

anything that you might need to get help

on when you go online so let's say

you're your browser isn't working

properly you look at help for that

browser you'll find hundreds of people

have posted hundreds of questions and

hundreds of answers this is not what

happens inside a class that out outside

a class you have the group as the world

everyone in the world can participate in

that forum when you're looking at a

course that you've designed it's for a

finite number of people who are there

for a finite number of reasons whereas

if you're looking at this support forum

for I don't know for something to do

with Microsoft there are a lot of people

who are interested in making sure that

their Microsoft product works properly

in a group where you might be limited to

20 you need to provide stimulus to make

sure that they're discussing things

talking about things

in a productive way and practicing the

language that they're supposed to be

working on so it needs it needs guidance

and structure and that's what the

teacher can can provide and without a

teacher it it all gets a bit lost which

then results in lack of motivation which

gets worse into disengagement don't

really care about it anymore which in

the very worst instance results in

dropouts I just like to ask how many

people who are here today have started a

MOOC and if you have started to MOOC

how many MOOCs have you started seven

okay it is something similar to my

number okay okay and a different

question how many MOOCs have you


oh well done how about okay okay so

there's the only on the second day

you'll get in there okay so the idea

basically is there is there is a

possibility of talking in a in a forum

on a MOOC and yes there is great

advantage in talking to other people

through that medium but without

something without something that leads

towards a pre agreed set of goals

without without somebody leading it or

making it feel bit more manageable and

with so many people in those forums that

it also it can it can lead to being a

bit less motivated because really how

many people am I talking to how many

people are actually reading my posts so

it can mean that you don't finish the

course so you've got we've got some very

dedicated people in the audience today

I'm very proud and now slightly ashamed

of myself for not having finished any

but but they are very interesting

experiences but they're not the same as

the kind of courses that we're

encouraging you to run today so with all

of this it all sounds a bit dire so with

teacher presence with teacher presence

and we can mitigate the risks of these

things happening and our students

disappearing on us so we mentioned

before the idea of learner training

digital native is not a helpful term

it's not a helpful term for their

student it's also not helpful for the

teacher to define themselves as not a

digital native because it means you can

kind of hide in a group that was never

really told about this when we were

young so we don't really need to know

about it now so it is it's very very

dangerous so we need to assume that our

learners are learner's and that they

need training in how to make the process

work for themselves so as a teacher in

one of these courses you can manage

collaborative tasks this means that you

set up activities to do activities that


functional goal and that have a language

goal so there's something for them to

achieve both in terms of the task itself

so we have to get together to decide

where to go on holidays all together so

there's you may be working on language

of negotiation of talking about

preferences though those things are

important so it is important to make a

decision and it is important to practice

that language so you're looking at two

sides of the same idea and that's

exactly the kind of task that teachers

set all the time and that are very very

beneficial to students you don't have to

be in a classroom to do it but it does

need my active management from the

teacher frequent personal response from

the teacher and from peers and again

when you have these kind of small

bite-sized activities that you do

together and it can be very very

powerful so looking at responding to

scores even Oh everyone in the class got

a hundred percent on that great job

really proud of you guys very simple to

a more considered okay I've looked at

your piece of writing this skill is

going really well your discourse markers

might need a little work and it and

getting it to be a bit more a bit more

meaty if you like and also if someone

talks about you know I've had a really

tough week and I haven't managed to get

my homework done but I've been watching

the videos to try and keep up then you

know great stuff really sorry to hear

about it personal response and your your

students peer to peer will have that

same personal response as well so when

the teacher is there it will allow that

interaction to happen and encourage that

interaction to happen much more than

when the teacher isn't there

and then obviously direct feedback on

work that's done on writing that they've

submitted on recordings that they've

submitted we don't necessarily have the

option for in-class time and and on

scores that you find in the gradebook so

there or whatever way that you have to

to track their scores so there are a lot

of actions for the teacher to take to be

present and and it's pretty constant you

know it's it's very very similar to

teaching face-to-face but you've also

got the problem

the teachers not necessarily in the

school the teacher is possibly working

from home maybe they're there they're

not being supported and if they do need

support how do they get that support and

how do you make sure that these things

function smoothly for the for the

teachers and for the students alike so

I'm gonna hand it over now to to Gordon

who's gonna talk to you about how that

works on a higher level how does it how

does it make it how does it make it work

it's not it's not simple it requires

quite a lot of quite a lot of thought

and Gordon is gonna talk you through all

of them great well first of all I hope

everybody can hear me and Thank You

Deirdre I think you you you hit all of

the the key points there that we that

we've been experiencing and our pilots

let me let me get started first of all

by giving everybody a little bit of

context here first of all I work for a

large group of international

universities around the world there's

about a million students in this network

and the universities are distributed all

around the world and one of the key

goals moving into the next 3-4 years for

the whole university network was to

increase what they're calling hybridity

and one of the goals in that is to have

by 2018 2019 approximately 25% of all

learning to be conducted in some way

online be that a hundred percent online

or blended in order to do this then we

we felt that we had to start and pilot

at at some institutions and we chose two

institutions in our network to do this

with one oneof as edad Petawawa odyssia

ts applica das pardon for my Spanish in

Lima Peru and the other one

Unni Tech is based in Tegucigalpa under

us to schools with slightly different

profiles and in two different approaches

of Minh to the hundred percent online so

just to give you an idea of the the

pilots themselves UPC is gone through

three phases now of pilots so three

three semesters so to speak of cohorts

and we've recorded data for that

Unni Tech on the other hand has gone

through two phases right now and are

about to enter into their third

interestingly at UPC the that the pilot

ran across the entire student body so

this was both face to face and online

students that distinction wasn't made

whereas at uni tech the focus in the

pilots was very well defined strictly

for online students and working adults

that is those students who have a job

during the day and intend to study at

night and therefore don't always have an

easy time getting to the institution we

also see that the group size at UPC was

limited to 12 to 16 students whereas the

group size at uni Tech was a little

larger with 22 students and when I say

this group size this means the group

both for the asynchronous part of the of

the learning but also for the

synchronous classroom which which we'll

discuss in a moment the quarter so the

course we were using was touched on

online blended learning but of course

that there was an entire curriculum

design that went around that and one of

the distinctions between the two pilots

was on the one side on a UPC used a

centralized instructional design team

that the university uses to design any

kind of online course to essentially

design the the interactions especially

in the synchronous classroom

uniteq there was an approach where the

teachers themselves were directly

involved in designing these these

interactions and I guess in the end we

had a number of measures to to to look

at the learning we looked at the

learning outcomes of course but also

student satisfaction and we saw at UPC a

student satisfaction rate of 7.6 and it

will need tech a satisfaction rate of

9.2 and we were curious to it to explore

what might have accounted for that in

fact and the next slides can shed some

light on on some of those findings so

just starting at the highest level as

Deirdre pointed out we one of the things

that we've realized when we're doing

these pilots is that at an institutional

level that there's a need for a clear

policy and a need to to do this for the

right reasons what we've experienced in

in many institutions is this sense

perceived by leadership that oh I can go

online and therefore I can relieve

myself of the need to have face-to-face

instruction and we feel what we saw in

both of these pilots was if you go from

that assumption that you're setting

yourself up for a fall because there are

certain cohorts that where we're online

learning fits in certain cohorts where

they where they do not necessarily where

they aren't necessarily the right the

right kind of students to do this so we

were encouraging the the institutions to

think this over to define who these

cohorts are and to put it in a language

policy framework that we call it which

is essentially a document which outlines

exactly what

the university expects from the students

and in the delivery methods that that

are appropriate

we also another thing that we discovered

that that's hugely important and is

directly related to what Deirdre was

saying was a need for the institution to

make a commitment to teachers and to

understand that moving into this online

100% online delivery is a very

significant change in the way people

teach and in the way to end the way

students learn and that we need to be

willing to take the time to train the

teachers and to understand that it's

really a process that we go through to

arrive at what we would call a fully

flipped classroom model and that it is

not really a question of technology as

much as a question of teachers assessing

the way that they teach and learn and

moving through a process of change and

that is not necessarily something that

is less expensive than a face-to-face

course or the question that Deirdre

raised is whether you can save money in

an online course I think the whole

element of training and development is

so huge and can't be understated that in

fact when you say at least in the

interim they in the in the initial

phases of these courses it would be it

would require considerable investment in

training up the teachers and getting

them ready to do this so there's a

significant resource commitment that we

found here that that needs to be brought

to bear to make this to make this a

successful approach so let's look at

this student first of all some of the

outcomes that we some of the things that

we've learned a

from the student side so first of all as

I mentioned just before you have to

choose your cohort carefully so I

obviously the online students may are an

obvious candidate if you're taking a

100% online degree then by default you

have to have on a 100% online delivery

of your English program that makes sense

similarly as we said the working adults

really they they're tired at the end of

the day they it's really hard for them

to get to school so being able to do a

lot of their work online is something

that's seen as quite a bit of a positive

as well and we do think that the

difference in the scores that we saw

between the two universities could very

well be directly related to the choice

of Court another thing that we saw that

was quite interesting is the issue of

study skills as I mentioned before for

teachers it's very it's a big paradigm

change but also for students as well

it's something that's that that's quite

new and it requires a considerable

degree of autonomy in order to in order

to succeed in an online environment and

sometimes our students at least who are

often first generation academics don't

always come to the institution fully

equipped with the study skills that they

need to succeed in a face-to-face

environment and then expecting them to

do this online without that

compassionate support that's that's

that's very tangible and deliverable

might be a hard challenge so the

question there that we raised is was it

it's correct to start with on line with

with with first first-year students just

entering a university environment and

we're still sorting out some of the data

on this to see what the impact is but

the the anecdotal information we have so

far suggests that maybe if it is

possible that going a hundred percent

online so early in the studies it might

might might make things more difficult

similarly along the same lines the

question was do you start a hundred

percent online with with with zero level

or or low a-one students that's another

another debate and people go back and

forth on it one thing for sure that the

a1 students do require native language

support within there within their their

course and so the question then comes up

is how what do you do about your your

teachers are all of your teachers going

to be speaking the the target language

of your students etc it brings up a lot

a lot of issues so in each of these

cases the study skills and the in the

language level of the students do seem

to have an impact on the learning and so

overall if you think about it I mean

what the the basic takeaway that we had

here which may seem obvious but it is

really that online is harder than

blended or face-to-face it requires a

lot more investment of time we noted in

these two studies that students took at

average of 30% longer to complete the

lessons than we actually anticipated and

that of course has large implications

for the way you design your courses a

couple of other things we learned was

one of the challenges in these online

courses and here now I'm referring to

the synchronous the asynchronous work

that they do

individually and not in real-time was it

we need to make a distinction between

clicking versus learning and that can be

difficult because automated activities

are such that students can theoretically

randomly click through them and and and

and achieve a result and we can't really

control for that as much as we might

want to do technologically speaking and

that's we're coming back to some of the

things that Deirdre said that it's

extremely important to have that teacher

presence involved because we found that

with the teachers especially in the Oni

Tech pilot that we were talking to they

spake they paid special attention to

this kind of thing and they watched and

went into the gradebook and followed the

student learning and they would go

inside and they would actually address

the students at certain points in time

if they felt that they were seeing a

trend towards what we call zombie

clicking which is just as some broad

broad clicking without really looking at

the at the activities we also found the

need for specific study plans so as I

mentioned before with the the younger

the students that earlier that they're

there in their academic studies the more

important is to give them structure

around their learning and in the case of

online we paid special attention to

giving them weekly actually daily

outlines of what activities that we

would be expecting them to do we tried

to chunk it small

because we felt that when students go

online they seldom tend to go online for

an hour at a time they would go online

into the system for 15 minutes 20

minutes etcetera so the study plans that

we created were designed in order to

have outcomes achievable within these

short chunks half an hour or less and we

tied it to regular as

assessment and that is one way that we

got around the zombie clicking is that

in addition to they the automated

activities in the system we also had in

additional assessments which asked the

students to produce a language to

demonstrate that they'd actually been

thinking about the activities as well

and finally the other thing is what we

call clear sign posting PDS PDFs

downloadables video tutorials just a

whole lot of support wrapped around the

student there so these were some of the

things that we learned about on the on

the student side and then moving to the

teacher and this underlines again what

Deirdre has been saying in the surveys

we had the students said that the number

one motivational factor is the teacher

presence no doubt and what we learn from

that is essentially is that teacher

behavior should guide our student

behavior so if we want the students to

log in on a regular basis over an entire

course then we as teachers need to do

the same menendez e and I certainly was

that kind of student when I was in

university to save everything to the

last minute on a Friday afternoon now in

a language course that's very

self-defeating because the whole idea is

to have interaction communication over

time so we need to be sure that it is a

consistent regular approach to going in

and so the teacher needs to demonstrate

that through interaction with the

students obviously going into the

gradebook looking at the students and

seeing what they're doing but also

giving them these nudges and this

encouragement that Deirdre also spoke

about to let them know yes you're we're

here for you and we're giving you some

feedback on this this was especially


when we're working with blogs blog posts

or discussions students said to us you

know why do we bother posting opposed to

a blog if if there's no response to it

so it can't just be an activity that

lies out there and in and isn't it at

all tied into some kind of feedback and

that was hugely important this

substantive feedback on the on the

student production which would motivate

them to to elaborate and and and then

hopefully be able to comment on other

students work and not just have the

relationship between the student and

teacher but students student as well so

um the other side was training and

support we know as I mentioned earlier

that the flipped classroom is not a

technology issue at all alone actually

it's not a technology issue at all when

you get right down to it it's about a

change in the role of the teacher versus

the role of the role of the student and

and you can also flip your face-to-face

classroom as well but it's about a

question of giving up a certain amount

of power in your classroom

it's about rethinking presentation

practice and performance it's

essentially revisiting your core

principles of learning and so what we

encourage at the institutional level in

that language policy document is to come

up together with the teachers with a a

set of principles which guides what the

kind of teaching is that we have at the

institution and you know what those

values and principles are and like I

said that goes that that's something

that that is not simply aligned to the

technology but to the philosophy of

learning altogether looking at the

training and support pre-service

training of course was very important

and in getting it right in terms of

understanding the technology tools is is

is very very important there because it

gives the teachers a certain element of

and they can focus on the the task at

hand rather have it to having to worry

about how each tool functions or if

they're if they're accessing it in the

right way but once that pre-service

training is achieved then the ongoing

really substantive change takes place at

least in our context in the community of

practice which we've established online

where teachers get together and work

with each other

to solve the problems that emerge out of

the out of the blended learning context

so this is proven to be a very powerful

powerful tool there are certain

technology champions amongst the

teachers who who lead the way and and

and and encourage their their their

their colleagues to to share also their

insecurities but also their their their

solutions and and to build essentially a

repository of knowledge around the

around the learning context so and then

finally I guess the other thing is

online as a continuum meeting students

and teachers where they are you know

online learning can be as basic as an

online workbook and as sophisticated as

a fully flipped classroom model and one

of the things that that we felt within

our network is that certain universities

may just be well advised to start with

with with with online workbooks first

and keep their model traditional further

for the time being and then slowly over

time progress towards a more

transformational model of Education when

the time is right and when the

conditions are appropriate so I guess

what I'm saying by that is you don't

just want to flip the switch on on on

day one and you know it and just expect

that everything is going to change

overnight so and finally I'm here just

to focus a little bit on the synchronous

classroom so we offered synchronous

classes in the context of the two pilots

that we had the synchronous classroom

was offered once at once a week and it

was optional okay that was due to unit

University and in ministry regulations

it had to be optional but one of the

things we saw was that synchronous

classrooms are not as frequently visited

as as you would think you have to

encourage people to come to those

classrooms Malheur participation

asynchronously so that's a little

challenge that everybody has seemed to

be facing is how do you get the students

to to show up you know on time at it at

a specific scheduled time that's a an

interesting interesting thing for for

everybody that we've seen but the

synchronous classroom has its other

challenges is you need to take some

decisions about how do you how do you

use this synchronous classroom we've

developed a series of checklists and

guidelines the checklist first of all

are just very practical so that teachers

that are going into an environment like

the one we're in right now for example

it's very similar is how this would take

place is how do you manage everything do

you have your PowerPoint slides ready do

you know where people can raise their

hands if you don't have the benefit of

somebody like Allister or Charlotte

monitoring the chats and the and the

questions how are you going to focus

your attention on individual students

and also on the the tasks that you have

it's very challenging and so because of

that what we observed in almost all

cases was that teachers would tend to

default to the presentation mode okay

what I mean by that is that the students

have been going online in the flipped

classroom to access the presentations be

it a grammar point or something else and

then practice it and then the teachers

essentially were reteaching it which

was not what we actually wanted to to

have happen but we understood why so in

order to to work towards changing that

we developed a almost like a cookbook of

ideas of what you could do in that

synchronous classroom how you could turn

that synchronous environment into a a

communicative environment some examples

were that we would you know put it ask

the students to get in get into groups

to brainstorm to come back to present

things that they that they were they

were brainstorming we took a lot of

traditional activities from resource

books that you would that you would find

out there and translated them into in

into online delivery using a lot of

images a lot of prediction if you think

about Bloom's taxonomy we were doing a

lot of critical thinking within there

and basically giving them stimuli that

would motivate a conversation rather

than trying to discuss the grid the

grammar points all over again now that

has worked to a certain extent but it's

very dependent on the individual

teachers comfort level and their and

their ability to motivate so we also

looked at models which would maybe use

this synchronous classroom in a

different way and that is the the way of

using it for office hours and this is

another approach we're taking right now

in another institution to test and

essentially what we're saying there is

is that it's it's almost a drop-in model

where the tea where where teachers are

available in a synchronous environment

to talk with students to review any

questions they might have to go over

an essay if it's so if if it's so

desired two ways of looking at that was

to compete to have a completely open

office hour where anybody could drop in

or to ask students to schedule rightnow

it's been completely open class hours

and as I've said since getting people

into the synchronous classroom is not

always that easy we we haven't

encountered difficulties with there

being too many people in these in these

office office classrooms and I think

many students actually really like this

this this model so it's something that

is definitely worth pursuing further and

trying out and there's been some people

thinking about what couldn't you have

both and offer an office hours and offer

a synchronous a I guess orchestrated

lesson as well and and I guess that

boils down to also just some of the

financial implications of having live

classroom setup and in the organization

thereof but clearly there it doesn't

have to be one or the other it can be um

it can be both um so these were just

some of the points that that I had to

make I think that our overall outcome as

you saw with the score seven and nine

they're being used this is a rubric

score that's used by all university

courses not just English courses which

shows that the general acceptance is

good can we improve absolutely but it

clearly shows that that there's there's

a path that we can follow here and

hopefully some of those things give you

a little bit of insight into some of the

challenges that you that you get with

this on the ground and I guess I'll pass

over to you Deirdre for the final slide

thanks Gordon I'm really impressive all

the things that you've done and bringing

all those things together with so many

campuses and different people and and

students desires and objectives involved

it's really great achievement and to be

able to learn from but from your

experiences is really helpful I think

for people who are trying to do the same

so our small example of this is an

online teacher training course that we

have built here at Cambridge University


I don't know if anybody knows we have

our own learning management system which

is a platform where we keep we keep all

our content and if you're looking for

courses that would help you speak like a

native obviously it's one of these you

know naturally but we have we've got

courses that are in there to help you

teach students and this course is here

to help you teach blended so we're

looking at blended learning but also

moderated online only teaching so the

course is quite short and it's very new

so what we're looking for is for people

to give it a go

and tell us what they think so in the

next couple of months I will be running

two pilots and I'd like to get to groups

of ten teachers in to pilot this this

course it's kind of selfish a lot of the

a lot of the thinking is similar to

CELTA it's not the same in terms of

certification or anything it's literally

if you're if your institution management

has decided right we're gonna do blended

learning or we're gonna do online only

then this is what you need as the kind

of crash course survival situation so we

have five modules and they're called

blended learning using data to inform

your teaching online workbooks which

Gordon mentioned as a as a convey it's a

good way in if you want to start doing

things like this um class tools and the

Cambridge LMS which covers how to run

activities in forums blogs wiki's and a

couple of Link's portfolio

and and teacher development so it's

about how you can use things like this

or a particular teacher or whatever

resources you find out there and set

your own goals in your own portfolio and

and work towards those so the course

will I'll be running as a as a five

module course each module self access

takes about 60 minutes to do and then

we'll do one collaborative activity in a

forum or blog or something just to see

how you get on and then the participants

will fill in a survey and as we go

through I will be moderating or my

counterpart in in Mexico will be

moderating and will will be listening to

you to make changes to update the

content or to update the kinds of

activities we recommend for trainers

using this course so if you are

interested in participating in the

course for free and if you could send me

a short email to the email address that

Alastor put in the chat box ELT training

at Cambridge org and just to give me a

short paragraph of where you are what

what you teach who you teach and why

this would be useful for you and then

out of that if we have a lot of people

who are interested then based on those

those emails will pick 10 people for one

course ten people for another course and

we'll get you started at some point over

the next couple of months so hopefully

it will be over the summer so it's it

shouldn't be too crazy a time for

teachers or maybe it is depending on

where you are but take that into account

when you're when you're writing in just

let me know because if if possible we

might run another one from September as

well so if you'd like to be part of the

pilots and give us lots of feedback then

please do send me an email and a ricotta

genetic okay so thank you very much

Deirdre and Gordon that was really

interesting great hear the spirit stick

accordin from you of doing this and then

Deirdre sex

well and and also of course that that

exciting possibility of signing up for

the course that dude will be running as

well so that's that's absolutely great

now do we have any questions that have

come in yet

and when I saw that came in was from

Heba alla alla kala to say you know our

stage or whether there are any

prerequisites for sign me up to the

course for this course no basically you

need to be a teacher and have have

students that you have worked with

recently or that you are working with

that you can use too that you can use as

context for yourself

so as we go through this there's a lot

of questions about okay and what would

it be like in your contact think of some

students how would they react so you're

thinking of individuals so as long as

you've had some teaching experience

whether that's present or recently

recently finished then you should be

able to should be able to participate

but really if there are lots of people

interested I can only run a couple of

courses so depending on how useful this

is going to be people who who will you

need it will get preference to get into

the course but otherwise No okay thanks

no do we have any any other questions

from anybody

Deidre Gordon has anything you wanted to

dad what you said so far oh I see Mauro

you were asking though it would none of

you have an American accent actually I

am American so that's interesting but I

live so long away from from the US I

suppose it it doesn't it doesn't show up

quite as much as it might with others

mr. ronnie has asked what wouldn't

really have to do to participate in the

course so as Deirdre mentioned you just

need to email alt training at Cambridge

dot org with some details of your

experience experience current teaching

context and why the course would be

useful for you okay thanks and then

obviously will hopefully demonstrate all

the good principles that Gordon has

talked about just now and you'll have an

amazing experience and you'll be

wonderful excellent I think if we don't

have any more questions we'll we'll wrap

that up there so just I'll just wait

another minute wait another 30 seconds

or so but actually while you're thinking

of questions because this is a last

chance to ask them to do drag or I'll

tell you a little more about next week's

webinar so next week on Wednesday May

the 27th

yes shockingly the next webinar will be

on a Wednesday rather than on Tuesday so

don't forget and Karen Elliott will be

back to talk about phonics fun and games

for infants and primary you can sign up

for that on our events page which is on

the cambridge data log LT site we'll be

announcing our June series of webinars

very soon too so hopefully in time for

next week's webinar on Tuesday may be

able to announce some of those webinars

that we're coming up in in June and as

Charlotte posted the link there so

thanks very much that and don't forget

of course that your certificates of

attendance and talking not about

certificates in the chat that your

certificate of attendance we sent out

automatically later this week that will

happen without you needing to do

anything at all so you don't need to

email me you don't need to do anything

at all that will arrive automatically

and if you'd like to catch up on any of

the webinars you've missed all of the

recordings of course are shared on a

youtube channel and on a blog you can

keep up with all our news on our

Facebook page and if you'd like a copy

of any of the science most

have been shared on Twitter at our

twitter account at kim bgp alt and while

I was doing that question coming in from

Adam says what do the presenters think

about young learners using online

learning yeah do you want to take I

could just comment on it I I think it's

interesting with young with young

learners some of the experiences that

I've made is that what you do in your

social life doesn't necessarily

translate into your into your

educational context but that the right

now the younger that you that you go

essentially looking at students who are

now in in fourth grade or third grade

that these students coming up are going

to be expecting an entirely different

approach to learning than students for

example who might be you know 18 16 even

13 year-olds who still have the

experience of of the print and the

models so one of the interesting thing

is the challenge is how do you design

these online courses for today but with

an AI that you that that what you have

to be creating is actually for this this

this other group that that's coming up

that digital divide that we talked about

it's not between digital immigrants and

and digital digital natives it's between

chunks of three years difference between

students so yeah I think I think that

this is far that this is something that

young learners could certainly adapt to

above the eight but the age of eight

perhaps but below that you're seeing a

whole different world coming up and

they're going to be looking at apps and

iPads and and disaggregated learning

things like that a whole nother another

area of exploration

if I can just add that as well about

younger learners is you you have huge

security issues so sending them to

different places you really need to vet

the places that you're sending them to

look at when you go online the other

thing is that younger learners in a

primary school elementary school age

they're going to see their teacher

pretty much every day so there's a very

specific set of uses that you can have

for online within that construct so

they'll see each other every day stuff

that we kind of promote really is

students doing classroom using

technology uploading them into portfolio

so portfolio can be a very useful way of

using leveraging online tools to make

the learning experience even more

valuable for younger students so rather

than getting them to collect a bunch of

pieces of paper that they'll probably

lose they put it into an online

portfolio that is then curated and

perhaps they take certain artifacts that

are submitted so that it becomes a

meaningful part of their learning

experience and again making sure that

you've got all the right tools that are

properly locked down that don't require

email addresses a parental involvement

is allowed it's a it's a much bigger

deal when you when you get to under 18

and younger and it can be a bit of a

minefield oh and just one thing to add

to that is if you get a chance anybody

check out a school called out schools

alt SCH ool as alt schools I don't know

if it's dot-com or org they're doing

things that are so innovative in K

through 12 education I think think you

might find that find that quite quite

interesting okay thank you very much

everybody thanks particularly obviously

to Deirdre and Gordon for another

excellent session thanks to everyone for


thanks to Charlotte for life tweeting

and moderating the chat as well in an

impressive display of multitasking and

and also typing doing quick bit of

search and typing links into the chat as

well we'll be back in one week and one

day's time as I said we'll be back on

Wednesday the 27th with Karen Elliott

thanks very much for attending your

stiff Achatz will be sent out

automatically on Thursday and hopes you

all again soon thank you thanks Hauser

The Description of Student Support in Online Only Courses