Carol E. Kubota (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thu, 9 Apr 1998 05:48:45 -1000
When I first came up with the idea of an on-line writing class for
ESL students in my own department which is an IEP (Intensive English
Program) I was greeted with more negative comments than positive.
First was curriculum, how did it fit into the curriculum that was
established by the department.
Second, who is going to teach the class. I must explain that our
department operates on a seniority based system which means when we are
lacking students the teachers who have more seniority have priority over
classes. Since I am new to the department the class that I have spent
time developing would go to an instructor who had no interest or
training in teaching on-line.
Some instructors in our program do not think that computer skills are
necessary. Why use a computer in the classroom when we have been using
pencils and paper for a hundred years.
Third, the department could not offer the technical support that was
needed. Since I was the newest member on board I had the oldest
compputer. I would not be able to get a new compputer until everyone
elso above me did. That would take almost 20 years the way that I
figured it out.
I ended up going to Continuing Ed and they led me to Distant Ed. What a
change. They have given me so much support I sometimes have to pinch
myself to see if it is true.
What I am trying to say is that in my IEP department there was no
support for an on line class. I think that it will take awhile before
ESL instructors realize that teaching with computers is not for "nerds".
My department would not be able to assess my on-line class because of
the lack of knowledge about new technology and that students can learn
and improve their English skills by taking classes on line and at the
same time saving thousands of dollars in traveling and living expenses
in the United States or any other English speaking country.
Carol E. Kubota
Western Michigan University