KEEPING STUDENTS ENGAGED: THE TEACHERS' ROLE IN THE KIVAKO PROJECT FOR ONLINE LANGUAGE COURSES IN FINLAND

G. Barco*, J. Cheng, D. Erent

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Keeping up with the times, and because their students' needs have been changing in recent years, many Language Centres in Finland have been developing new online solutions for language learning in higher education. The state-funded project Kielivarannon vahvistaminen korkeakouluissa ('Reinforcing language availability in higher education institutions'), or KiVAKO, launched in September 2018, aims to create new learning pathways for less widely studied languages in Finland by developing cooperation both at a national and a regional level. This oral presentation is a reflection on how the teachers' online presence will affect the students' motivation to engage into such online courses and ensure that they complete them successfully.

Based on a questionnaire sent to at least 500 students in all the schools involved in the project, this presentation will show that the participants' biggest concerns regarding online courses are time management, teacher supervision and teacher-student interaction. It will then describe how the course developers from the Chinese, French and Portuguese teams take this information into account in planning their respective 15-credit study paths.

The original idea behind the questionnaire was to learn more about the students' initial motivation towards online language learning and about their previous experiences, in order to develop the most attractive and functional courses possible. The results showed that more than half of the respondents already have some experience of formal online learning, albeit in other fields than languages. Such a form of education is now part of their natural academic environment and they don't seem to need any extra motivation. A more intriguing observation was the fact that time management is both a major criteria in opting for an online course and one of the biggest challenges in completing such a course. This in turn leads us to believe that this aspect needs to be addressed not only during the development stage but also during the learning process itself.

We will then demonstrate how such realization guided our work within the KiVAKO project and how this crucial role of the teacher shows in the piloting stage of our online courses. We will also discuss the feedback gathered from students on that matter and possible future improvements.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12TH INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE OF EDUCATION, RESEARCH AND INNOVATION (ICERI 2019)
EditorsLG Chova, AL Martinez, IC Torres
Pages814-814
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)978-84-09-14775-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventInternational Conference of Education, Research and Innovation - Seville, Spain
Duration: 11 Nov 201913 Nov 2019
Conference number: 12

Publication series

NameICERI Proceedings
PublisherIATED-INT ASSOC TECHNOLOGY EDUCATION & DEVELOPMENT
ISSN (Print)2340-1095

Conference

ConferenceInternational Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Abbreviated titleICERI
CountrySpain
CitySeville
Period11/11/201913/11/2019

Keywords

  • Online learning
  • language learning
  • higher education
  • teacher presence
  • student motivation
  • student retention

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