Best practices in online learning: Is if for everyone?

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2012-01-01
Authors
Blake, Robert
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Heinle Cengage Learning
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2012
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10
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25
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In this chapter, I advocate for the need to use technology in the foreign language (FL) curriculum and describe different conditions under which technology fits into the curriculum, including the implementation of online courses. This implies, of course, that not all online courses are the same by any stretch of the imagination, just as not all in-class, face-to-face (F2F) classes produce the same learning experience. Many in the language teaching profession seek to compare directly online learning with an imagined gold standard represented by F2F classroom learning. I examine the difficulties in doing this type of comparative research, which is fraught with numerous uncontrolled individual variables that make asking the question, “Which is better?” unproductive for the field. I try to explain why some quarters of the FL field persist in refusing to accept online courses into the FL curriculum for normal course credit despite the growing use of online courses in higher education. Finally, I consider the questions of whether or not the online learning environment constitutes a good fit for everyone. I present evidence that online language learning presents a difficult avenue of study for certain students, but it also promises to be a most excellent alternative for others. Suggestions are made for what could be a more fruitful research agenda concerning online language learning and the computer-assisted language learning field.
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Blake, R. (2012). Best practices in online learning: Is if for everyone? The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 10-25. http://hdl.handle.net/102015/69708
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