Journal Article

Virtually unknown: teacher engagement in an online conference

Caroline Moore, Tony Fisher and Eric Baber

in ELT Journal

Volume 70, issue 2, pages 200-211
Published in print April 2016 | ISSN: 0951-0893
Published online March 2016 | e-ISSN: 1477-4526 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/elt/ccw003
Virtually unknown: teacher engagement in an online conference

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  • Language Learning (Specific Skills)
  • Language Teaching Theory and Methods
  • Teaching English as a Foreign or Second Language
  • Language Acquisition

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For several teacher associations, webinars and online conferences are an increasingly important mode of communication in a wide range of educational contexts. Yet, despite this growing popularity, relatively little is currently known about their inherent usefulness, what counts as successful participation, or how webinar sessions might best be shaped to support teacher development. Our study aims to address this gap in existing knowledge by examining data gathered from a web conference hosted by the International Association of Teachers of English as a Foreign Language over two days in October 2014. We ask what constitutes webinar discourse, what counts as successful and unsuccessful participation, and how the format might be refined in order to maximize successful participation in future online events. Furthermore, it evaluates participants’ general satisfaction with the online event. Our study combines discourse analysis of participant contributions with the analysis of questionnaire data gathered from participants. In this way, the study focuses on the turn-by-turn management of webinar discourse, while also taking into account participants’ own evaluations.

Journal Article.  4752 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Language Learning (Specific Skills) ; Language Teaching Theory and Methods ; Teaching English as a Foreign or Second Language ; Language Acquisition

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