EA offers online teacher development

25 March, 2014

Language school peak body English Australia has entered a partnership with the Massive Open Online English Course (MOOEC) to provide opportunities for professional development in online training in English language, in a move to support the sector in developing high-quality blended learning platforms.

Sue Blundell (EA) and Chris Evason (IES) sign an MOU

The MOOEC platform is provided by the not-for-profit International Education Services Ltd and is specifically designed for the provision of online English language education, with partners including a number of Australian universities, colleges and language schools.

“Our aim is to develop the capacity of our sector in the increasingly important area of online learning. We want to provide leadership in ensuring that the staff of our colleges have the opportunity to develop their skills and be able to produce high-quality online lessons,” said English Australia Executive Director Sue Blundell.

“The MOOEC enables teachers from EA member colleges to share their knowledge and ideas, while showcasing their own skill. We look forward to developing an academic community which leads the world in understanding how to produce high-quality, engaging and relevant English language online materials,” Blundell added.

English Australia has scheduled a series of half-day workshops in May that will provide opportunities for constructing and promoting lessons online.

“English language teachers have access to tools that have never been available before and at no cost,” said IES Managing Director, Chris Evason. “The MOOEC academic community is vibrant and strong already in Queensland and with English Australia’s support, we are looking to expand this opportunity for teachers to participate across the country and take the service to a new level.”

Commenting on the future of online English language provision, Blundell said, “The focus is definitely not to replace face-to-face learning. There are a range of audiences for the MOOEC. The whole point is to add value to all of these audiences – offshore/onshore, pre-course/during course/post-course etc. We have a young client group – a group that is increasingly mobile and are looking for their learning to be flexible and responsive – and mobile – as well.”

A mission statement on the MOOEC website highlights the aspiration of a “more blended pedagogic model in English language learning, whereby students can affiliate and undertake lessons with an English language centre prior and post face-to-face enrolment”.

The MOOEC enables students coming to Australia to build a learning profile that can be built on in class. The statement continues, “The MOOEC aims to facilitate this enhanced interaction between students and their colleges. It is highly unlikely that any student with the means to study in the immersive English environment at a college in an English-speaking country will choose to limit their studies to online learning.”

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