Tasks and Challenges Faced by Teachers in Handling an Online Project

| December 24, 2010
Tasks and Challenges Faced by Teachers in Handling an Online Project

Keywords: online learning, telecollaboration, electronic negotiation

Mei-jung Wang & Ka I Ip
National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism , Taiwan Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao

Bio Data
Wang, Mei-jungis Associate Professor in the Dept. of Applied English of National Kaohsiung University of Hospitality and Tourism, Taiwan. Her current research interests cover literacy instruction, computer assisted language learning, and English for Specific Purposes.

IP, Ka I, Assistant Professor at the Institute for Tourism Studies, Macao, is a veteran teacher of English for hospitality and academic use. Her major research interests are in English learning motivation and strategies, curriculum design, teaching methodologies and discourse analysis.

The learning process of teachers to integrate information communication technology tools and programs effectively and confidently can be frustrating (Richards, 2005) and social, cultural, and institutional affordances and constraints could shape the agency of online teachers in different ways (Belz & Muller-Hartmann, 2003). This paper presents the tasks and challenges the authors encountered when handling a project of international telecollaboration between Taiwan and Macau, in which students from hospitality colleges were required to first read three online articles featuring hospitality culture, then discuss the questions provided on the discussion board, and finally conduct an online project. The email exchange between the two instructors was examined to reveal the tasks for the instructors of the eight-week electronic negotiation, implementation, and management of the telecollaborative partnership. In particular, it details the challenges emerging from different phases such as the dilemma resulting from the misalignment of the academic calendars and the decreasing of motivation resulting from student workload. Finally, the instructors metacommented on the email messages to investigate the effects and problems of this international telecollaboration. By means of teachers reflections on their experiences in negotiating and facilitating international telecollaborations, suggestions are presented for future studies to maximize the educational outcomes of online learning.

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Category: Main Editions, Volume 12 Issue 4