WebCT for the Language Teacher 

語学教師のためのWebCT (ウェブ・コース・ツール)

a bilingual presentation at Ritsumeikan University on 16 November 2001

立命館大学 琵琶湖草津キャンパスの研究会・京都キャンパスへの通信

by Steve McCarty (香川短期大学教授 スティーブ・マッカーティ)

和英ウェブ・ツアー parts of this Web tour are in Japanese

Enter North American WebCT Faculty Training Courses, Student Interface:

Local Training Session / Multimedia Demo / Extreme Teaching Discussion

Enter WebCT Japanese Version Courses, Student and Designer Interfaces:

計算機基礎数理 (学習者として入る) / インタラクティブ基礎英作文 (デザイナーとして)

Prerequisite skills. Today educators need Web design skills, an understanding of HTML tags, source files, meta-data, uploading and directory structures. Educators also need instructional design principles, to apply originally Western Web-based tools and learning theories to East Asian students who are more "teacher-dependent."

Cross-cultural issues. Teachers' and students' roles and expectations differ across cultures. Western assumptions about the active learner and student-centered education cannot be taken for granted in a non-Western culture. Cooperative approaches appeal to learners East and West, but manifest in very different ways. In any case, very explicit directions are needed for learners to navigate each step in an online course.

Stages in adopting new educational technologies / the need for hands-on training. Educational institutions need to be prepared for a transformative technology like WebCT. Even in some major North American universities there has been active resistance to Web-based education. In a country like Japan it would probably take the form of passive resistance, such as not attending voluntary meetings or doing the minimum required. There can be resistance precisely because new skills are needed. The image of sensei has been one who has mastered a field, whereas now lifelong education is needed most of all by educators. But faculty attitudes can turn positive with intensive hands-on training that shows teachers and students that the new educational technologies are empowering.

Instructional Designer and Virtual University. Besides computer support staff, faculty members can get started online more quickly by having an instructional designer in the department to put their content online and design an optimum environment for communicative learning. Private universities in Japan can be more flexible about this need than public universities. The Instructional Designer also provides training for faculty members to become independent users of a platform like WebCT. Instruction in Japan and elsewhere until now has been mostly a flow that is soon lost, whereas online courses build up an ever-growing stock of learning experiences and resources. Courses can be augmented by online activities at first, then become mostly online, augmented by in-person training and certification examinations. What it leads to ultimately is the global virtual university where instructors and lifelong learners can each be anywhere in the world.

English or Japanese version of WebCT? If one has to be selected because of the expense, native speakers of other languages will have more difficulty mastering the many functions that make the expense worthwhile. A fleet of high-performance vehicles (WebCT) is not needed to go to a convenience store (posting just information such as a syllabus on the Web). Native users of Japanese would prefer the Japanese language interface even for courses in English. Native users of English and most of Japan's potential customers for distance education based in Asia and elsewhere need the English interface, even for courses in Japanese. (Ritsumeikan's Asia-Pacific University in Oita should provide an incentive for Web-based global outreach). It is usually the bilinguals who have to accomodate the monolinguals, although the goal of bilingualism should apply to teachers as well as students of a foreign language. In Japan it would be best to use both Japanese and English versions of WebCT. Until that is possible, native speakers of Japanese and English should work closely together and receive bilingual training. The WebCT program source files are nearly identical, so designers and students using the WebCT interface in their second language can use the manuals and online help files available in their native language. See the reference sites below or e-mail the presenter for further information.

30 WebCT tools and the Good Teaching Practices they support have been charted by a colleague in Vancouver (link below). Tools are also matched with learning styles they appeal to, and concrete uses of the tools are suggested. The idea is for lessons to be driven by pedagogical principles and learning goals rather than by technology and other non-educational factors.

Three of the important WebCT tools for communication demonstrated on this tour. The chat function (and interactive whiteboard for drawing) are synchronous (real-time), whereas the bulletin board for threaded discussions, the calendar & other tools are asynchronous.

Balance of self-study and communicative activities needed in online classes. Learners especially in Japan dislike feeling isolated, and there is already a stereotype like that about online education. Homework such as CALL (links below) is valuable to prepare learners to communicate, then interactive activities need to be scheduled every week. With such a balance, the computer can take learners out of their isolation and widen their circle socially as well as intellectually. Besides the WebCT communication tools, there could be e-mail circles of classmates, techniical help available such as by telephone, and adding m-learning to e-learning by utilizing Internet-enabled mobile phones.

Restricted Web for courses and open Web for resources. The several WebCT English and Japanese version sites entered during this presentation are password-protected, but below are links to reference Websites, in Japanese, English and bilingual, that are available on the open Web for self-study and professional development.

WebCT-related Reference Sites 参考する関連のウェブサイト

WebCT - World Wide Web コースツール 梶田先生/名古屋大学
Introductory WebCT Japanese localization site at Nagoya University

WebCT ホームページ 梶田先生/名古屋大学
「コース表示」にクリックし、国内のコース・インフォメーション・ページが閲覧できる
WebCT Japanese course information pages can be viewed without passwords

インタラクティブ基礎英作文コース (和英) スティーブ マッカーティ
Interactive Basic English Composition Course Information Page

WebCT.Com
WebCT's Home Page in North America

WebCT Software Documentation Index
Designer manuals, training & help files for all levels

WebCT tools and the Good Teaching Principles they support
30 of WebCT's tools charted for pedagogical purposes

Evaluation of Learning Management Systems
WebCT & similar platforms compared for important features

Effective Student Preparation for Online Learning
November 2001 article in The Technology Source

CALL Links コンピュータ利用外国語学習

Homepage of Ritsumeikan Prof. Kazunori Nozawa (英和)
知人である野澤教授の紹介でこのプレゼンテーションをするようになりました

和英翻訳添削システム Intelligent CALL tutoring system online
最新のバージョンやオーサリングについては、徳田博士へ問い合わせてください

 Web tour by Steve McCarty  
Professor, Kagawa Junior College, Japan
President,
World Association for Online Education
Homepage in
English | Japanese / Site Map | Mirror Site
Online Publications: Bilingualism and Japanology Intersection
(an Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library
4-star site, 1997/2001)

 スティーブ・マッカーティ  

香川短期大学教授、世界オンライン教育学会(米国認定のNPO)会長、
グローバル大学(UNESCO認定のNGO)アジア太平洋機構等のネット上
のボランティア活動を行っている。ボストン生まれ、ハワイ大学大学院
文学修士(アジア・日本学の専門)取得。「
バイリンガリズムと日本学
という著作目録とリンク集は、
☆☆☆☆(アジア学にとても役立つ)と
Asian Studies WWW Virtual Library に評価されています。

e-mail  iモード: surf.to/imode  12 November 2001