the role of the instructors in vles

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  • 7/28/2019 The Role of the Instructors in VLEs


    ELT article published by Prof. Jonathan Acua at

    The Role of the Instructors in VLEs

    Its Biggest Challenges

    When reflecting on the biggest challenges of a F2F teacher transitioning to

    an online environment, several issues people my mind trying to make room

    to be considered and explained. Many of these ideas focus on the issue of

    getting out of ones comfort F2F teaching zone, which is an encouraging

    step in an instructors professional life and development, and a worthwhile

    one by the way. To be able to smoothly transitione from F2F to online

    teaching, three essential issues need to be taken care of: ,course readiness

    , and .LMS (platform) understanding instructors role

    When it comes to , an online course differs from onecourse readiness

    that is taught F2F. To begin with, the course instructor needs to carefully

    redesign its content, objectives, and delivery to suit a VLE. For instance,the course material needs to be ready from day 1on, so students can

    explore it as a way to familiarize themselves with the course platform or

    LMS. But as material needs to be ready from the very beginning, the

    design of assessment tools is essential as well. The way students are

    graded or assessed in F2F environments cannot not coincide 100% with an

  • 7/28/2019 The Role of the Instructors in VLEs


    ELT article published by Prof. Jonathan Acua at

    online course evaluation. For instance, rubrics for online projects need to

    be also ready before the course actually gets ready for kick-off. In

    conclusion, all these ingredients guarantee the achievement of the course

    learning objectives by ones pupils.

    To ensure the achievement of course objectives, the instructor also needs

    to understand the use and scope of the course LMS or learning

    . Depending on what kind of LMS is being provided by theplatform

    institution one works for, it is imperative that the teacher knows the nuts

    and voltsof its use. Understanding how this learning platform works can

    give the instructor ways of solving technical problems s/he can face as well

    as his/her students. A set of tutorials or manuals have to be ready to

    ensure one can provide the right and timely assistance to pupils or

    colleagues in need. And in case the platform crashes down (for whatever

    reason), having a Plan B is a must. Plan B can simply be the allocation of

    course content and information (videos, vodcasts, podcasts, audio files,

    docx, PPTs, pdfs, prezis, and the like) in alternative web services to be

    retrieved when needed by either instructors or learners. To sum up,

    because technology can fail, preventing the worse that could actuallyhappen can help the teacher and student to complete their educational


    Comprehending that technology is an issue to always consider,

    understanding the is way too crucial, too.instructors role in VLEs

    Because the planning of the course is something that has been done

    beforehand, the teacher becomes the facilitator for student learning. Theusual role teachers impersonate in F2F instruction -the one of the tester or

    evaluator- is no longer the one that has to be embodied. As facilitators one

    turns into the timely feedback provider who can trigger even better results

    in ones pupils than the ones students previously thought of before. But

    this triggering of great learning-outcomes accomplishment is also

  • 7/28/2019 The Role of the Instructors in VLEs


    ELT article published by Prof. Jonathan Acua at

    characterized by the instructors availability for his/her learners. To

    conclude, to comprehend ones role in online teaching means that one

    becomes the student learning supporter, the one who can provide timely

    feedback when needed to ensure learning.

    There are indeed other challenges one has to face as an online instructor,

    which were not listed here. However, understanding that challenges do

    exist can help online instructors-to-be to mitigate any frustration and

    dismay before they actually take place. Understanding that technology

    does fail at times and that instructors need to be prepared to provide

    assistance can also guarantee that teachers can find a practical way out to

    continue with the course chronogram and deadlines.

    To fully develop and comprehend this teaching issue, its advisable to

    research and expand these areas:

    1 Getting ready to teach in online classrooms

    2 The importance of course readiness in VLEs

    3 Scope and uses of learning platforms

    4 Transitioning from F2F teaching to VLEs

    5 Student assessment in VLEs

  • 7/28/2019 The Role of the Instructors in VLEs


    ELT article published by Prof. Jonathan Acua at

    Professor Jonathan Acua-Solano

    ELT Instructor, Course Designer & Teacher Trainer based in Costa Rica

    Member andIATEFL AffiliateNCTE

    Resource Teacher atCCCN

    Senior ELT Professor atUniversidad Latina

    Freelance ELT Consultant four in Central AmericaOUP

    For further comments or suggestions, reach me at:

    @jonacuso Twitter

    Other blogs and sites I often write for my students at the university are:

    1.Pronunciation 1 2.Re adding Skills 1

    3.Pronunciation 2 4.Computering Applications in