If you’ve ever taken an online course before, you know that there can be considerable variance in the design and layout from one course to another. The same can be said of teachers who teach the same lesson, right? So, whether you’ve taken an online course before, or perhaps this is your very first one—we make no assumptions about how you’ll interpret what you see and how you experience it. To ensure a common understanding of the course layout and approach, this section includes two resources to guide your initial exploration of our learning environment as we have designed it. First, we’ll explain the layout through the text and a graphic organizer in the section labelled, “A Modular Approach.” Then, you’ll watch the guided video tour of the layout and navigation of the course, which explores the layout of the course and also includes some tips to add to your success as a participant in the section labelled, “Course Layout Tour.” Let’s go!
This course is organized by a basic structure we call a “module.” You might think of a “module” as a “unit” of study. Each module lasts for three days, meaning that from 8:00 am on the first day of the module until 11:59 pm on the third day of the module, you will engage in course activities that must be completed during that module.
So, 1 module = 3 days
The modules in this course build upon one another, and are in many ways similar to puzzle pieces, hence the “puzzle” motif we’ve adopted throughout this course. Each module can be thought of as a piece of a larger puzzle. For each module, we provide you with content and activities that help you to develop and check your understanding of the focus for that module. The content and activities are divided into “sections”. These sections are labelled using a numerical identifier that helps you keep track of where you are in the course. Take a look at the following example:
In our Orientation Module 00, section 0.3 How to Prepare For & Join the Live Session Sunday, June 12, the number “0” represents the Module and the number after the decimal, “3,” represents the third section of that Module.
All together, these sections make up each module, which is akin to one piece of the puzzle we are building together: Teaching languages online using a backward design approach. By itself, each module is interesting and provides us some insight into the larger task—our completed puzzle on using the backward design approach to teaching languages online.
There are eight modules in this course. The first six modules help prepare you for the two online teaching experiences you will complete in this program. The first will be a peer microteaching activity conducted with a cross-language partner(s). This means you will teach an activity in your target language to a peer or peers who do not know that language. Your peer microteaching activity will take place during week two (Module Three). In Week Two (Module Four) you will reflect on your online peer microteaching experience and peer feedback on your microteaching.
In Modules Five and Six (Week Three) you will continue to learn and practice content to support you in your online teaching. From June 27-July 10 you will co-develop your synchronous online lesson for students at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). You will co-teach this lesson on July 11, 12, or 13. On the day you are not teaching you will observe and provide feedback to your teaching peers. We will support you in all aspects of your CSUSB online teaching experience with a web conference, feedback opportunities from our language specialists, and time to practice your lesson using our web conferencing system, Adobe Connect. During our last week together you and your peers will co-teach a 60-minute synchronous lesson to students at CSUSB. Module Eight in that week will help you reflect on your experiences in this course and how you can create a Personalized Growth Plan for your future online teaching.
The modules of this course are as follows:
|What is Comprehensible Input?
|Exploring what comprehensible input is and how we can realize it in online environments.
|How do I Provide Culturally Relevant Visual Input?
|We’ll examine the techniques for incorporating culturally relevant visuals in a synchronous online session.
|How do I use Realia or Props in Online Environments?
|Based on what we know about the use of realia in face-to-face settings, we’ll explore how this translates to online environments.
|How do I Provide Comprehensible Input in Synchronous Online Sessions?
Let’s transfer our knowledge of this concept to online synchronous sessions.
|How do I Prepare the Online Environment for Student Comprehension? (June 27-29)
|Planning for and staging our online learning environment for student success.
|How can Learners use Can-Do Statements to Chart their Growth?
(June 30-July 2)
|Providing our learners with the language to identify and express their learning across the three modes of communication.
|Microteaching/Peer Observation with CSUSB Students
|Co-teaching and observing synchronous microteaching experiences with summer program students at California State University, San Bernardino.
|Looking Back, Looking Forward:
|Reflecting on the previous modules and major course activities that have helped us to assemble all of the pieces into a beautiful puzzle. Looking ahead to your future online teaching plans and continued professional development.
Once a module has been “opened,” it will remain open for the duration of the course. As we begin each new module, that module will appear near the top of the course homepage with a blue background, with the previous module just below it. In this way, you can easily access the current material.
The following video is tour of the features and functions of this course, including suggestions for how to be successful in the course. Please carefully watch this video. You may wish to view it full screen by clicking on the full screen icon (It looks like four angle brackets in a frame.) that appears in the bottom right corner of the video player.
Use the Navigation menu to continue to the next section, 0.3 – Course Syllabus and Schedule.