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The six principles for effective online learning
During the 2020 academic year, the spread of COVID-19 made a systematic approach to teaching and learning almost impossible. Teachers and students faced a year of uncertainty about how classes were to be conducted, either in person, on demand or a variation thereof. At the presenters’ institution, a small private university in Western Japan, many teachers spent the entire year cobbling together an effective learning environment, while students coped with varying degrees of success. Given the upheaval experienced, and armed with lessons learned, the presenters sought to provide specific training for new and veteran students on how to tackle university learning with more success in 2021. In this ‘show and tell’ presentation, six principles for effective online learning will be introduced. These include: having the right technology, preparing a study space, making a learning plan, planning for self care, collaborating with classmates, and communicating with teachers. Each topic was introduced to students in a short video, and learners were invited to document their individual approaches to creating an effective learning environment in a video/ written portfolio. The topics were revisited over the course of the Spring semester to help students build autonomy by encouraging them to solidify and maintain their goals longitudinally. The presenters will report on the progress of the project and share student perspectives. While the ideas presented in this talk center on online learning environments, they are also applicable to a variety of teaching situations making this talk relevant to all educators.
I've been teaching in Japan for 12 years. My current research and professional interests are (1) group dynamics and language use during asynchronous online discussions and (2) using CBLT for study abroad preparation. I received a PhD from the University of Texas at Austin in 2011.