Learning to swim in new waters: A meta-narrative about the design and implementation of a virtual learning environment for language learning and teaching

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© 2015 Teresa MacKinnon.

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In the past 5 years, the Language Centre at the University of Warwick has designed and implemented a blended learning environment in order to meet two important challenges to our Institution-Wide Language Programme (IWLP) language teaching mission. These were to connect teachers and learners together online in order to better support progress where class contact time was limited, and to provide effective support to teaching colleagues with little or no experience of e-learning. Designing the portal, known as Languages@Warwick, involved a complex process of needs analysis, technical and financial understanding and interaction with many stakeholders. Progress in the use of the platform was regularly reviewed and shared with the tutor community in order to inform next steps. This chapter will present an emerging understanding of the nature and impact of the developments set against the rapidly changing technological and pedagogical landscape. One which can perhaps best be described not as a community of practice, as had been expected, but rather as a collection of participatory communities known as collectives.

Keywords: community of practice, collective, CPD, telecollaboration, e-portfolio, VLE, open practice.


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MacKinnon, Teresa. (2015). Learning to swim in new waters: A meta-narrative about the design and implementation of a virtual learning environment for language learning and teaching. In Kate Borthwick, Erika Corradini, Alison Dickens (Eds), 10 years of the LLAS elearning symposium: case studies in good practice (pp. 57-66). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2015.000267

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Creating and Nurturing a Community of Practice for Language Teachers in Higher Education
MacKinnon, Teresa.