Reflections, successes and pitfalls of coordinating online discussion forums in a foreign language

Lewis, Peter A. & Gray, Genevieve (2010) Reflections, successes and pitfalls of coordinating online discussion forums in a foreign language. In Chova, L. Gómez, Belenguer, D. Martí, & Torres, I. Candel (Eds.) Proceedings of the 3rd Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation (ICERI2010 Proceedings CD), International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED), Melia Castilla, Madrid, pp. 6121-6128.

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The advent of e-learning has seen the adaptation and use of a plethora of educational techniques. Of these, online discussion forums have met with success and been used widely in both undergraduate and postgraduate education. The authors of this paper, having previously used online discussion forums in the postgraduate arena with success, adopted this approach for the design and subsequent delivery of a learning and teaching subject. This learning and teaching subject, however, was part of an international collaboration and designed for nurse academics in another country – Vietnam. With the nursing curriculum in Vietnam currently moving to adopt a competency based approach, two learning and teaching subjects were designed by an Australian university for Vietnamese nurse academics.

Subject materials constituted a DVD which arrived by post and access to an online platform. Assessment for the subject included (but was not limited to) mandatory participation in online discussion with the other nurse academics enrolled in the subject. The purpose behind the online discussion was to generate discourse between the Vietnamese nurse academics located across Vietnam. Consequently the online discussions occurred in both Vietnamese and English; the Australian academic moderating the discussion did so in Australia with a Vietnamese translator. For the Australian University delivering this subject the difference between this and past online discussions were twofold: delivery was in a foreign language; and the teaching experience of the Vietnamese nurse teachers was mixed and frequently very limited. This paper will provide a discussion addressing the design of an online learning environment for foreign correspondents, the resources and translation required to maximise the success of the online discussion, the lessons learnt and consequent changes made, as well as the rationale of delivering complex content in a foreign language. While specifically addressing the first iteration of the first learning module designed, this paper will also address subsequent changes made for the second iteration of the first module and comment on their success. While a translator is clearly a key component of success, the elements of simplicity and clarity in hand with supportive online moderation must not be overlooked.

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ID Code: 43766
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Innovation, Technology, e-Learning, Education
ISBN: 9788461424399
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NURSING (111000) > Nursing not elsewhere classified (111099)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Nursing
Copyright Owner: ICERI2010. International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation. International Association of Technology, Education and Development (IATED)
Copyright Statement: All rights reserved.
Deposited On: 03 Aug 2011 00:31
Last Modified: 01 Mar 2012 01:59

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