Many teachers wonder about whether or not COVID-19 will finally go away so that school can go back to normal, or will it linger longer, thus, online education is here to stay. What cannot be denied, however, is that online learning is becoming a new standard in education. Even before the pandemic, online education visionary, Kentnor, stated that “online education is no longer a trend, but mainstream” (2015, p. 22). Kentnor is referring to the ongoing evolution of education which is also closely linked to technological advancements and that education will only continue to suffer should there not be any serious steps taken to develop a new approach. On the one side, online education can be viewed as a sign of progress as it increases the accessibility of education, especially to disabled learners (Kim & Fienup, 2021). Educational institutions that are traditionally face-to face (F2F) are also realizing the positive effects of online learning. The EF English Proficiency Index for 2021 reported that “Online English schools have competed with brick-and-mortar schools for years, but the pandemic may prove a tipping point in their adoption” (p. 29). The English Teaching field is a huge market around the world and schools have traditionally favoured F2F foreign teachers to deliver English lessons, yet the market for online learning continues to see increased growth potential with the changing situation caused by the pandemic. On the other side, online education can be seen as having a negative effect on the quality of education. Post secondary institutions and private education in first world countries have greatly benefited from online education, however, there is still ongoing debate about any similar impact in K-12 education or education in third world countries. The UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report for 2021 indicated that “[t]here is a critical need to produce more and better evidence on remote learning effectiveness, particularly in the most difficult contexts” (p. 6). Has the quality of education in K-12 education suffered from a sudden shift to online learning due to the pandemic? How can traditional F2F classroom-based teachers best use virtual learning environments (VLEs) to guide them in online learning? This paper will discuss these important questions and identify areas where teachers can be supported in online learning so they can be better prepared and equipped to teach online.
To be continued...
COVID-19 may disappear one day, but online education is here to stay. This is a firm belief of mine after teaching remotely for over two years (much like the rest of you teachers!). Throughout my experiences, I have been documenting and researching the effects of digital technologies, pedagogies, learning theories, and instructional design models in hopes of finding better solutions for teachers and educators.
The title of my research is called How F2F Teachers Perceive