For a presentation at the University of Tsukuba
Graduate School of Education in February, 2004.

Online Education in Theory, Practice, and
Applying the Internet to English Education

Course Description

This intensive practicum for University of Tsukuba graduate students majoring in English education will be conducted in a computer classroom connected to the Internet. As the Ministry of Education (MEXT) emphasizes both computer literacy and developing "Japanese with English abilities" as young as possible, course participants will gain readiness to apply Internet information and communication technologies to their future English as a Foreign Language classes in Japan. The course aims for an understanding of the discipline of online education: its basic parameters, concepts, trends and issues, globally as well as in Japan. Online educator skills will also be developed through hands-on training in the WebCT learning management system based at Portland State University in Oregon. Demonstrating one of the advantages of online education, there will be expert participation in the course from abroad through the Internet. Participants will first brainstorm what online education is, by comparison with related fields such as distance education and e-learning. The level of development of online education in Japan and other countries will also be discussed. The lecturer will present PowerPoint slides and Web pages on themes including the parameters of online education, such as space, time, culture and face; trends, such as online academic conferences, virtual universities, global networking by educators, and the new occupation of Instructional Designer; issues, such as student support, teleconferencing vs. Web-based education, and whether to replicate face-to-face relationships vs. more ambitious goals made possible by the new media; and theoretical considerations, such as definitions of terms, and research on the similar effectiveness of online learning compared to face-to-face classes. With this knowledge, the Internet can be applied to teaching English: in writing, such as composition or content-based subjects, possibly combining English literacy with computer literacy; and orally, such as by adding a voice discussion board or voice chat room to an online course. The practicum will be evaluated by short writings submitted and class participation. Classes will be mostly in English, with some Japanese resources and questions welcome.
Steve McCarty is a full professor at Kagawa Junior College and elected president of the World Association for Online Education from 1998-2005. His bilingual Website starts at: http://www.kagawa-jc.ac.jp/~steve/
Updated on 29 December 2004