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ERIC Number: EJ889556
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 12
ISSN: ISSN-1195-4353
Language at a Distance: Sharpening a Communication Tool in the Online Classroom
Hannan, Annika
College Quarterly, v12 n2 Spr 2009
Both immensely powerful and entirely fickle, language in online instruction is a double-edged sword. A potent intermediary between instructor and students, and among students themselves, language is a key tool in online learning. It carries and cultivates information. It builds knowledge and self-awareness. It brings learners together in a community. But language can turn perilous when ambiguity creeps in and ambivalence has its way. How can we make language work for us and our students as distance educators? Which instructional techniques serve the cause, in some cases even better than they serve the traditional classroom? Which ones must instructors rethink? And what is the students' responsibility, if any, to language? This paper examines language as a communication tool in online learning, exploring how it succeeds and fails. While it engages with current pedagogical theories, it also draws upon my own, admittedly limited, experience. I have taught both correspondence and online courses over the years, but I am not an expert in distance education. The aim of this paper is to digest this experience, reflect on some current theories of e-learning, and consequently offer some (hopefully useful) suggestions for both tapping and changing instructors' established pedagogy. (Contains 10 notes.)
Seneca College of Applied Arts and Technology. 1750 Finch Avenue East, Toronto, Ontario M2J 2X5, Canada. Tel: 416-491-5050; Fax: 905-479-4561; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A