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"Preparing Future Foreign Language Faculty to Teach Online: A Case Study " icon

Preparing Future Foreign Language Faculty to Teach Online: A Case Study 

Online learning has become a critical element of the U.S higher educational landscape. Given its growth, it is likely that both current and future faculty will be engaged in some form of online learning at some point in their career. Although teaching online is an increasingly common occurrence for faculty in higher education, the transition from the physical to the virtual classroom is a challenging experience for which many faculty are unprepared. Adequate preparation to teach online is particularly important, as online learning is especially unforgiving of pedagogical shortcomings. This paper describes a case study conducted at the University of Colorado at Boulder, in which five graduate teaching assistants (TAs) enrolled in a graduate course that explored the theory and practice of online foreign language course design were followed. As a capstone project, TAs designed and developed a three-week non-credit online course for their language of expertise, which they taught the following summer. One major finding of this study is the importance of addressing faculty perceptions about online learning when preparing them to teach online and suggests that one way to address perception issues is to provide future faculty with a chance to experience online teaching for themselves in non-threatening conditions.

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