The role of the teacher in an online course is significantly different compared to the role of a teacher in a typical classroom. Generally, the teacher in distance/eLearning courses:
- · Continuously reflects upon his/her role as a trainer
- · Takes advantage of his/her extensive life experiences and skills developed, his/her
personality to attain knowledge, build the learning process and approach the learners.
- · Acknowledges his/her weaknesses, stereotypes and fears.
- · Examines in depth the attitude towards and perceptions about distance learning and the possibilities offered.
- · Develops a sort of familiarity with technology means and faces any distrust or anxiety relating to the control and management of the course and the learners.
- · Adopts the learners’ centered teaching process and encourages autonomous learning.
- · Is not carried away by the possibilities provided by any technological means, but takes into consideration, specific needs, learning style of each learner.
- · Encourages the trainees to learn on their own and trains them in the respective learning strategies.
- · This requires:
o to be well aware of the technological tools that will be used for the eLearning courses.
o knowing very well the training content and materials available.
o to know very well how the technological tools and materials interact, to guide students on how to use them during the training.
o to listen to the trainees in regards to their familiarization with technology (the problems they face and how much they are at ease with it), to facilitate their interaction with the digital training environment and to exploit the existing possibilities to the maximum by matching the suitable options for each trainee.
- · Creates a pleasant learning environment-a learners community- by taking advantage of the possibilities of collaborative learning
- · Considers the tools and instruments that lead to creating the appropriate conditions for building a learning community.
- · Sets and selects training material and activities that create a cooperation and community sense, aiming at creating bonds for a creative training group.
- · Use cultural elements during the lesson, which highlight the historical, social and cultural dimension of the language, which develop communication and human expression needs.
- · Interferes and develops a familiar environment in a wide range-from the actual/real to the digital “world” by caring for:
o the lighting during the synchronous meetings (skype communication/ videoconference)
o the aesthetics of the surroundings that may be seen on camera
o the different “sounds” from the surroundings and the technical characteristics of digital sound
o the body posture (movements)
o the facial and vocal expressions
o the breathing and pronunciation
- · Advise the trainees to create a homely environment in their space, that is usually associated with other daily functions (and is not perceived as a “classroom”)
- · To be “on the waking” (conscious) so that to constantly assesses the training process and adapt the lesson according to messages received from the trainees and their specific needs
- · To encourage, motivate and offer incentives for learning, by selecting interesting and creative digital material
- · To know how to manage communication and transfer of information for organizational and practical aspects of the course (using the forum, e-mails, messages)
- · To develop skills so that to be a competent user of new technologies. (elearning
platforms, social networks, e-mails)
- · To develop the ability to correctly and quickly write in a digital enviroment (type)
- · To develop the ability to handle and lead in digital environments, on his/her computer and on the different types of computers that may be used may the trainees (mac, iPad etc.)
- · To develop the ability to comprehend and manage digital files of various types (text, image, video)
- · To be well prepared-having the material in digital form AVAILABLE (in appropriate
formats)-, but also to be flexible so that if necessary, to rely on modern communication possibilities without being stressed and feeling at ease with these means.
- · To well ones role in face to face training and to be competent and resourceful in constantly adapting in the digital environment the training activities and learning techniques
- · To know where to seek for help, to get informed and to learn about new technologies, to overcome complications and to continuously evolve.
For more information, you can download the methodology