And how do/did teachers feel during the shift from the face-to-face into a strictly online teaching world? We have an interesting study that sums up the Covid phase and how the teachers' role transformed within this period. We summarised the main outcomes. Read on!
The study was conducted by Sarah Albrecht with support of Cambridge University Press & Assessment. She examined the sudden, unplanned changes in teachers’ professional lives, which followed the Covid-19 crisis. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to analyse teachers’ experiences and changing roles as they had to move towards online teaching.
Let´s focus more on language education and its unique complexity
Older studies identified the key changes in teacher roles, but only a few of them focused specifically on language education. Obviously, this type of schooling highly differs as it is uniquely complex due to the importance of non-verbal communication and social interaction for language acquisition.
Teachers and technologies are co-dependent entities
This study proves that the teacher and technology were experienced as completely co-dependent. Also, the need was found for both systematic Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and a global levelling up of digital services.
Findings from this study may support learning and assessment providers in improving digital education provision for educators. And in this way enables teachers to find new ways to harness the potential of online teaching and reducing anxiety surrounding this learning environment and the role of the teacher within it.
Advantage: pedagogues were more creative with the materials
Indeed, the most successful socio-material entanglements were interpreted as drawing on the joint strengths of the human and material. Some teachers even stated that during this online phase they just were more creative. It helped them to tutor the students better and more efficiently, and faster.
However, positive teacher experiences often involved a role of ‘doing double duty’ through addressing both socio-affective presence and facilitating interaction, and involved carefully designed, planned out and prepared collaborative interactions.
The tech skills are key
A significant digital divide was noted beyond the disparity in teachers’ knowledge and confidence working online, but also in relation to the scope of the possibilities available to participants due to a lack of digital access.
The findings in this study demonstrates that the teacher and technology were experienced as completely co-dependent, pointing to a need to move beyond understanding teacher roles as independent from technology. Such a redefinition requires a shift in belief systems to one in which the digital is no longer a tool or an add-on, but central to all language education.
The behavior and use of digital technologies has changed not only among teaching staff, but also among the end consumers / the students. Young students are much more accustomed to doing work on a laptop and also recognise its advantages. Computer-based exams also have several added values compared to paper-based ones and students shoud make use of that. If you are a teacher and are interested in learning more about computer-based exams, please get in touch.
How to immerse you and your student into the online world?
Swiss Exams, conducted a series of webinars in which we have discussed the topic of teaching online. Have a look: