I have to admit I’m biased. I’ve been involved in distance education and online learning for over 25 years, first at TELUQ, a distance-education university, and more recently in online teaching at CÉGEP de Saint-Laurent, a francophone college.
As a teacher, author and learner, it is no surprise I’m a big fan of online learning. But I realize that not everyone is as passionate about it as I am. Take Jacqueline, my wife, for example. As a professional librarian and legal assistant, she of course has to be computer literate. However, she would much prefer to write with pen and paper, and read “real” books rather than e-books. But even Jacqueline is now taking a series of online courses in botanical painting for personal enrichment...and enjoying it!
If you are a teacher, author, or learner, here are 10 reasons why you should like online learning. Professional development, my last point, is a key reason in my mind. You need to know about the great work that English Learner Portal (ELP) is doing in teacher training.
Teacher Perspective on Online Learning
I have been doing hybrid teaching or blended learning ever since I started teaching at college level over 10 years ago. If you are a teacher, here are three reasons why you should use online learning.
1. Blended learning: A blended learning approach combines online instruction with face-to-face classroom interaction. As I point out in an article I wrote on the topic, the blended classroom is a powerful tool, gives your pedagogy a new twist, and offers access to lots of resources.
2. Increased motivation: Using online tools can also increase student motivation. In using my writing course, Introduction to Academic Writing, one student commented, "All the lectures are very easy to understand; it doesn't matter your skill level in English writing. You can learn at your own beat; and even if you don't understand everything right away, you can go back to the courses as many times as you want. That is very helpful!"
3. Mobile friendly: A nice feature of a good online course is its mobile friendliness, so students can access it wherever Wifi is accessible. In other words, there is no excuse for not doing the assignments!
Author Perspective Creating with Online Learning
I’ve been writing online materials for over 10 years now. Online teaching has allowed me to teach what I want and what my students want to learn. It is given me the opportunity to cooperate with some bright people. Moreover, it has breathed fresh air into my pedagogy.
Here are three advantages that ESL materials writers should be aware of.
4. Learner friendly: Lectures provide information in bite-size chunks that don’t overwhelm learners. As one teacher using my online writing course, Introduction to Academic Writing, commented, “Each aspect of writing is broken down into manageable modules that students can follow at their own pace.”
5. Different learning channels: It is a multimedia experience that addresses different learning styles. One student who used my online writing course, remarked, “What I really liked about the Introduction to Academic Writing is having the choice of following the lesson by watching the video or by reading the text myself.”
6. Easily Updated: allows for relatively easy updating of materials—something you won’t find in traditional textbooks.
Learner Perspective Doing Online Learning for Career Development
In addition to being a teacher and author of online materials, I love learning online as well. I’m constantly taking webinars and seminars to improve my pedagogical knowledge and teaching skills.
Here are four reasons how online learning gives you an incredible learning experience.
7. Convenient: You can choose what you want to learn whenever you want to learn 24/7.
8. Self-paced: Online learning provides a flexible approach to learning meeting your individual needs.
9. Helpful feedback: You profit from feedback through practice activities and formative quizzes, as I point out in my training course for teaching writing.
10. Access to professional development: Online learning makes it easy for you as a teacher to upgrade your knowledge and skills through online professional development. English Learner Portal (ELP) offers a variety of online courses for university credit at a reasonable cost.
ELP offers professional training in such areas as classroom interaction, vocabulary building, and teaching writing. Go to Portal Peek to meet some on their passionate instructors, interviewed by Kelly Reider, ELP’s founder. For example, in my interview with Kelly, I introduce a songwriting activity that I use with my advanced ESL learners.
Watch some of ELP’s specialists teach a sample lesson in short video clips.
ELP works with Brandman University to offer you one, two or three university credits for its courses. It’s a great opportunity to grow professionally and advance your career.
Feature image by geralt on Pixabay
Teacher image by OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay
Author image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images on Pixabay
Learner image by OpenClipart-Vectors on Pixabay