Online education has shown significant growth over the last decade and since the COVID-19 outbreak it has become even more centric in students’ and teachers’ lives. Instructors are being called on to adapt their courses to the online environment. This course provides a theoretical background and a practical training to enable instructors to realize effectively their courses in an online format.
In the theoretical part (8 contact hours) the course will provide an insight to the elements that influence student learning in online communities and to the main challenges faced by instructors adapting courses from face-to-face to online. We will examine the importance of psychological factors, cooperative and constructivist learning theories.
The practical part (12 contact hours) offers some examples of application of the theoretical framework to foreign language teaching, learning and assessment online, both in asynchronous and synchronous setting. We propose some examples of tools that allow communication and interaction between pairs and instructors and that may generate an active and engaged online learning community. Furthermore, we give some suggestions for collaborative or small-group work in online courses. Finally, we propose some techniques to provide effective feedback and to assess learning outcomes, promoting learners’ autonomy.