Michigan State University

The Center for Language Teaching Advancement (CeLTA) and the English Language Center (ELC) at Michigan State University have focused on promoting the development and teaching of quality online language courses and programs at Michigan State University. We are now happy to offer our internal professional development course, Introduction to Online Language Teaching, to language educators outside of MSU.

Introduction to Online Language Teaching is a fully online course designed for experienced classroom instructors who want to make the transition to teaching languages online. While each participant will bring his/her own pedagogical background, the course presupposes a task-based, proficiency-oriented view of language instruction. Course participants will gain an understanding of key criteria and conceptual frameworks used to describe online pedagogy, and will develop expertise in the areas of course quality and design, accessibility, and media. 

The online nature of the course exposes participants to all of the affordances and constraints of an online environment for language teaching and learning, allowing them to experience a student’s perspective firsthand. This includes engaging in a variety of tasks and discussions, which are meant to be a non-comprehensive sampling of the possibilities of online learning. Participants will receive feedback from the instructor and, by the end of the course, will have developed a principled plan for developing an online course at their own institution. For more information, see the course outline below. 

Course Details

  • Length: 10 weeks
  • Weekly expected workload: 3-5 hours (mostly asynchronous with 2-3 synchronous meetings required during the course of the semester)
  • Dates: May 25th – August 1st, 2020
  • Cost: $1000 ($1300 after May 18th)
  • Learning Platform: D2L (MSU’s Learning Management System)
  • No required materials other than those provided within the learning platform
  • Technology Requirements: computer with stable internet connection; webcam and microphone; mobile device (recommended)

Application Requirements

While the course is designed for higher education professionals, language educators from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Because space is very limited, participants will be selected on a first come, first served basis. Previous online teaching experience is not required, although everyday fluency in the use of web tools (email, collaborative tools, content sharing, etc.) as well as a basic ability to use a Learning Management System (e.g., Canvas, Moodle, Blackboard, etc.) is presupposed.

How to Apply: If you are interested in participating in this course, please contact Luca Giupponi, CeLTA’s Educational Technology Specialist, at giupponi@msu.edu.

Course Outline

  • Week 1: Online Language Teaching: Beliefs and Readiness
  • Week 2: Characteristics of Successful Online Instructors
  • Week 3: Presence and Communication
  • Week 4: Online Course Quality
  • Week 5: Accessibility and Media
  • Week 6: Teaching the Interpretive and Presentational Modes Online
  • Week 7: Teaching the Interpersonal Mode Online; Running Synchronous Sessions
  • Week 8: Managing Workload
  • Week 9: Visual Design for Online Learning
  • Week 10: Develop an Online Course “snapshot”

What others have said about the course

Thank you so much for the wonderful course. It was a fantastic learning experience for me, and I enjoyed those ten weeks. I think what I enjoyed most about the course, in addition to the excellent content and great discussions with colleagues, was actually observing what you did as instructors and how you taught. I learned a lot from your example, so thank you very much for that.

  • University of Illinois Instructor

Thank you for making me look good with the department chair!

  • Ohio State University Instructor

Thank you again for all your work with the OLT course. It was truly an eye opener for me!

  • University of Illinois Instructor

Thank you very much for the past 10 weeks and the course is truly amazing. I have learned so much. You have been an amazing teacher, very responsive and supportive and you set a great example for me to follow. Thank you again!

  • Indiana University Instructor 
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