Online Learning Community: Relating Theory to Practice

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Online Learning Community: Relating Theory to Practice 網路社群之語言學習: 理論與實務

In this course, we are going to discuss online learning communities made possible by the advance of the digital technology, such as the Information Communication Technology (ICT) tools like email, MSN, blogs and forums. We will draw from Vygotsky’s socio-cultural theory and Lave and Wenger’s

Community of Practice (CoP) to understand the nature of collaboration essential to social network communities online, and discuss purposes and possibilities of establishing online communities to serve for language learning purposes. To make sure we start with a common ground, the first topic we are going to discuss is what it means to learn a language by having students reflecting their own history of language learning. Secondly, we are going to tackle the issues related to learning community by defining what a learning community is, the benefits of learning with such a community and means of establishing a collaborative

learning community. Based on the reading of the theories and observations from our daily experiences, we will then discuss practical matters in designing lesson incorporating ICT tools into classroom practice.

Grading policy:

Attendance and online participation 20%

Journals (4 collections 3 pages each) 25 % One group presentation (30 minutes) 25%

Final essay (6-8 pages) 30 %

Week Topic Assignment

1 Course Orientation: The meeting place of language learning and online communities

2 What does it mean by learning a language? Personal history of English learning

3 Attitude, Beliefs and Prejudice about language learning

Journal 1

4 The role of digital technology in language learning

5 Is the Net Generation a new generation? The digital native debate 6 Computer literacy: Critical thinking

involved in this information society


7 What is a learning community? Defining and redefining community in Cyberspace (Ecological learning community)

Journal 2

8 Globalisation and interactions with the outside world

9 Vygotskian socio-cultural theory 10 Midterm review

11 Affordances of the online modality: from Constructivism to Connectivism

Journal 3

12 Psychology: Are you internet addictive?

13 Sociology: Group composition 14 Classroom practice and ICT tools

(asychronous): blog, wiki & MOO

15 Classroom practice (synchronous): MSN &


Journal 4

16 Group Presentation I 17 Group Presentation II

18 Course evaluation Final essay




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