Colloquium: "Case study of a community of practice"
Wednesday, March 26, 2003
9:30 am to 11:15 am, (14:30-16:15 GMT)
Baltimore Convention Center - Room 306
event number #4101 at the TESOL 2003 Convention, Baltimore, Maryland, USA

How Participation in a Community of Practice, (CoP) Informs and Influences Personal Teaching?

Why I Joined Webheads in Action, (WiA)?

I joined WiA, in January 2002, aming at modifying, improving, and developing web-pages included in a website, which I designed, built and published, using, in 1999, during my TESOL Master of Science Program, at SUNY, Albany.

In Spring 2001, I began my teaching career at Kuwait University and have officially started using the website for my EFL students in the English Language Unit of Science College .

My first disappointment was when I found that it was difficult for the students to find assigned Weekly sessions on the General English Course # 090 Main Page. I used to get frusterated, whenever I ask my students to a particular activity, as it used to take them a long while to find it. I had to remember to tell them to scroll the page everytime we go to the C-Lab. Scrolling web-pages was a problem, during the second half of the 90s; 20% - 30% of the Internet users used to scroll web-pages, according to several published researches.

Later, I realized that the problem was with my home page and not the scrolling issue or the students. Therefore, I started my search looking for a good source of knowledge on technical issues related to web-page developing. In Fall 2001, I joined a number of EV Online 2001, however, I didn't find the skills I needed. Eventually, I joined a CALL group through which I was invited to EV Online 2002, Webheads. I didn't understand the main concept behind this online community, at the very begining.Therefore, I was only concerned with learning skills and techniques that should enable me modify and develop existed web-pages.I then waited eagerly for activites included in Weeks 5 and 6, of the 7-week syllabus.These two weeks activities were focused on Web-pages development and the use of Computer Mediated Communication, (CMC) tools.

Finally, I managed to modify and improve most of my old web-pages;in addition,I created new pages with more care, trying to implement the knowledge I gained at WiA on E-learning and online teaching that emphasized simplicity, clarity, and the use of collaborative and cooperative web-based projects as a feasable approach for this kind of learning environment.

NEXT: Web-pages Created Before and Modified, Improved, Developed After I Joined WIA!

Copyright©2003 Buthaina Al Othman