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Students’ Role in Distance Learning
Dalarna University, School of Languages and Media Studies, English.
2008 (English)In: Opening Doors through Distance Learning Education: Principles, Perspectives and Practices / [ed] Goertler, Senta; Winke, Paula, Texas: CALICO , 2008, 43-66 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

1. Introduction Much of the support that students have in a traditional classroom is absent in a distance learning course. In the traditional classroom, the learner is together with his or her classmates and the teacher; learning is socially embedded. Students can talk to each other and may learn from each other as they go through the learning process together. They also witness the teacher’s expression of the knowledge firsthand. The class participants communicate to each other not only through their words, but also through their gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice, and the teacher can observe the students’ progress and provide guidance and feedback in an as-needed basis. Further, through the habit of meeting in a regular place at a regular time, the participants reinforce their own and each other’s commitment to the course. A distance course must somehow provide learners other kinds of supports so that the distance learner also has a sense of connection with a learning community; can benefit from interaction with peers who are going through a similar learning process; receives feedback that allows him or her to know how he or she is progressing; and is guided enough so that he or she continues to progress towards the learning objectives. This cannot be accomplished if the distance course does not simultaneously promote student autonomy, for the distance course format requires students to take greater responsibility for their own learning. This chapter presents one distance learning course that was able to address all of these goals. The English Department at Högskolan Dalarna, Sweden, participates in a distance learning program with Vietnam National University. Students enrolled in this program study half-time for two years to complete a Master’s degree in English Linguistics. The distance courses in this program all contain two types of regular class meetings: one type is student-only seminars conducted through text chat, during which students discuss and complete assignments that prepare them for the other type of class meeting, also conducted through text chat, where the teacher is present and is the one to lead the discussion of seminar issues and assignments. The inclusion of student-only seminars in the course design allows for student independence while at the same time it encourages co-operation and solidarity. The teacher-led seminars offer the advantages of a class led by an expert. In this chapter, we present chatlog data from Vietnamese students in one distance course in English linguistics, comparing the role of the student in both student-only and teacher-led seminars. We discuss how students navigate their participation roles, through computer-mediated communication (CMC), according to seminar type, and we consider the emerging role of the autonomous student in the foreign-language medium, distance learning environment. We close by considering aspects of effective design of distance learning courses from the perspective of a foreign language (FL) environment.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Texas: CALICO , 2008. 43-66 p.
Keyword [en]
distance learning role of the student student autonomy group learning chat session synchronous chat collaborative learning
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:du-3311OAI: oai:dalea.du.se:3311DiVA: diva2:520933
Available from: 2008-06-24 Created: 2008-06-24 Last updated: 2012-04-24Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf