Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 4

Running Head: The Importance of Online Teaching: My Personal Journey

The Importance of Online Teaching: My Personal Journey


Why is Online Teaching Important to me? and What are the benefits?
By Prof. Jonathan Acua Solano
Friday, July 10, 2015
Twitter: @jonacuso
Post 182

When confronted with the question, Why is online teaching important to me?, I
must admit that the answer is linked to the summative assessment used at the university
where I currently work. Rigid evaluation is one of those things that my teaching
experience tells me that it is wrong, especially when in the equation surface and deep
learning are involved. The hybrid courses that I currently have at Universidad Latina in
Costa Rica have helped me better visualize the importance online or blended learning has
for me to assist pupils in the construction of their knowledge and for them to evidence
the fact that learning can be deep and long-lasting.
Back in the first quarter of 2010 and after being a student for the Webskills course
through the Distant Learning program held by the University of Oregon, I started toying
with the idea of virtualizing some of the courses I was teaching at Universidad Latina at
that time, something I managed to do empirically. My empiricism gave me some firsthand knowledge and foundation to begin with some sort of blended learning with my
language performers. Not only did I start using blogs to take my whole teaching online,
something that took me a couple of years, but also I ended up creating an LMS for my

Written by Prof. Jonathan Acua

The Importance of Online Teaching: My Personal Journey

reading skills students, where we were able to share and publish their projects and
reading accomplishments.
Later on, in 2013 I got the chance to participate in the Laureate Faculty
Development where I was given the opportunity to get enrolled in an associate degree in
Hybrid, Online and Blended Learning. It was until that time that my online teaching
empiricism became the ground foundations for my studies with online practices through
Laureate International Universities, the international consortium that owns the university
where I teach ELT and owners of the Laureate Faculty Development. The training I was
provided, my former empirical knowledge, and the projects that were needed and carried
out in real virtual classrooms allowed me to transition from the F2F classroom to the
online classroom in platforms such as Moodle and Blackboard.
During the 7 modules I went through along 2013 and 2014, I was able to put the
pieces together to start some real blended learning experiences for my students at that
time at Universidad Latina and, consequently, move away from the rigid assessment used
in my F2F courses. I was then trained how to more effectively use the LMS, which should
be called a CMS instead, that the university uses, Moodle. But I was also provided with
training in Blackboard to round up my understanding of LMSs. Learner engagement and
feedback were part of another module that allowed me to keep up with the work my
language trainees had to do in Moodle. Instructional design was also a must in the
program to be able to convert F2F activities into blended or fully online ones that students
could do at their own pace. The online practicum was a nice way to try out everything
one has been trained on and see how ones learners reacted to our guidance, social
presence, and their cognitive interaction with the subject-matter to be studied. It was a
blast!
Though I had started my online teaching journey with a sole intention to use that
knowledge with my university courses, I found myself accepting a different position in
the curricular development unit for the binational center where I also work and launching

The Importance of Online Teaching: My Personal Journey

an EFL blended program. This was my chance to get to practice my ideas regarding online
learning and the knowledge I had constructed along my 7-module training in hybrid,
online and blended learning. The EFL program has proven to be successful so far, and in
my home country, we have the only true blended language program across Costa Rica.
Though the binational centers blended EFL program is on its way, my online
teaching nowadays does not end there. Laureate Faculty Development hired me as an
online instructor for their platform associate degree programs. I know deal a lot with
hybrid online learning and higher education practices that can also be transferred to the
VLE scene. Having students across the globe is now giving me a real sense of what is to
increase flexibility of time to study at ones pace, increase flexibility of location since
my students and colleagues can be in any continent, the sharing of information to unify
faculty teaching practices across the Laureate Universities network, and the fostering of
digital information literacy to integrate faculty members teaching various subjects in
different fields.
Understanding our 21st century students, we teaching professional have numerous
digital learners sitting in class. It is our duty as faculty members to cope with their learning
needs and their need to get and have access to information in no time. For these 21 st
century students, communication and collaboration are key elements in their way of
building skills that will eventually become competencies for their current or future jobs.
Reasons for moving into online education differ amongst teachers. Some regard it as a
natural progression to their current teaching practice, some are reluctant to change and
feel pressured into it by their institution, while others are interested in online education
but dont know how to get started (UNSW, n.d.). Anyway, reasons must help us identify
our guiding star to find our niche in the 21st Century education global scene and to provide
learners with true deep-learning experiences to help them develop competencies for their
current or future jobs.

The Importance of Online Teaching: My Personal Journey

UNSW. (n.d.). Why is online teaching important? Learning to Teach Online. Retrieved
on 2015, Thursday 9 from
https://d396qusza40orc.cloudfront.net/ltto/pdf/LTTO_M1_Importance.pdf