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Dynamic Online Language Learning in the 21st Century: General Course Design

Part 2: General Course Design 

If you’re excited to begin teaching online, but don’t know where to start, you’re not alone! Luckily, Donna Marqués continues this webinar series with an introduction to general course design. After many years of online teaching, Donna’s expertise will guide you through the different components of an online course, such as the Learning Management System and the Supersite. Even if you have no idea what those terms mean, not to worry! You’re sure to become familiar with them and more after watching the webinar. 

To begin picturing what a successful online course design looks like, just think of a website that’s easy and enjoyable for you to navigate. Most likely it follows the guidelines discussed in this webinar. For example, consistency is key. Picking a template and sticking with it from page to page will allow students to focus on the content and avoid confusion. Using the same fonts, colors, and sizes is a simple way to bring coherency and help your class feel comfortable to explore and learn.

Donna also addresses one of the biggest misconceptions out there about online learning. It’s the idea that teachers become nothing more than tech support once they go to online teaching. However, providing students with the resources they need to solve their tech issues is part of a well-designed online course. Most importantly, connecting them with resources can help you do what you do best—facilitate second language acquisition with your unique style. You do not have to know everything about technology to thrive as an online language teacher; you just need a good resources page!

Another worry many have about online teaching is how they will be a part of their students’ learning if they are not in a classroom with them. As Donna says, it’s simply a matter of “reimagining” your teaching. In the classroom, teachers use a textbook as a curriculum guide, but they add their personal style and know-how to bring their instruction alive. Online teachers can do the same through the publisher’s Supersite by adding teacher notes, providing additional instructions or helpful tips, and even recording their voices.

Every teacher’s classroom is different, so your online course design will probably not look exactly like your colleagues’. That’s the best part; you get to put your personal stamp on the design and be an active participant in your students’ learning. 

Watch the webinar here! 

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