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This is part of an essay written by a student I taught on an online course for a Chinese university.  It is interesting that she says she and her partner dare not speak, which is a major constraint in a speaking course.  This perhaps reinforces my view that it should have focused on writing skills and teachers who could teach face to face should have taught speaking.

It is interesting that she overstated my age by at least ten years.  I suppose 60 year olds look ancient for 18 year olds.

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Successful Adobe Connect tutorials - the student contribution is key

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I had a couple of Adobe Connect tutorials that seemed to work well last week.  This was because students asked questions and these replaced the tutorial slides and plans I had made.  Of course, I always have content prepared and if students stay quiet, I tend to go through the plan but this can seem mechanical and unrelated to what they really need - some students are strangers to me (from different groups, have been to tutorials with other tutors before) so I do not know the "gap" between where they are and where the course would ideally like to be.  Students asking questions based on their own concerns enable me to really address the needs but it demands something of students and some are willing to ask questions, make comments etc.

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Online teaching in China - personal experience

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Tuesday, 23 Feb 2021, 23:26

I have been doing some online teaching for a university in China.  There have been some challenges, perhaps largely due to too little notice about preparing and difficulties in communication.

Something that surprised me was that the original intention was that I would teach oral skills to a class sitting in a classroom with one shared microphone.  So, I was sitting in my room in Bristol seeing students and they could see me through a screen.  I would say something and responses involved students passing the microphone around the classroom.  This was clearly a very ineffective way of teaching.

Eventually, I managed to persuade the College to change the model so that students were working outside the classroom on individual computers or using the phone.  However, we were using Dingtalk and I was told that breakout rooms were not possible.  So, although the communication was improved, I was not able to monitor group work or even have any idea if it was actually taking place.

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