How Participation in a Community of Practice Informs and Influences Personal Teaching?


Why Am I Still Here?

  1. Participating in a CoP like WIA helped me modify and improve most of my old Web-pages and create new pages. I managed to design two on-line CALL programs for the two courses I currently teach.
  2. It has never occured to me that educational theories, including teaching/learning approaches, phylosophies, and e-learning quality were going to be disccussed by this community of practice, thinking that Webheads in Action, is a CoP focused on computer and other technical skills,only.I intend to continue participating in this CoP, due to the tremendous amount of knowledge I'm gaining , almost everyday, on the available Computer Mediated Communication, (CMC) Tools and their integration in on-line teaching, effectively.
  3. In addition, "advaneced" educational theories, based on Socratic teaching approach; such as, "Constructivist approaches" have been discussed by participants.These kinds of discussions, are another major reason for me to continue participating in WIA. The awareness and enlightment on pedagogical issues I experienced reflected positively on my pedagogical style and inspired me to think of ways I can use CMC tools with my students , who are unfortunately dependent learners,mostly.I also managed to transfer the kind of e-learning I'm practicing with webheads to my online teaching trying to help my students become discoverers, motivating them to seek learning for life.I took the move,earlier this Spring 2003, and began integrating some CMC tools in my online teaching.The following are examples of ways I learned from WIA on inetgrating CMC tools in my current on-line teaching, inside a C-Lab and in cyberspace:
    • A chat session during week 1 inside a C-Lab using a Groupboard.
    • A chat session during Week 3 inside a C-Lab, using YMessenger
    • An effective way of communicating with students using a Yahoo Group.
  4. Participation in WIA, also, helped me to develop prfoessionally. I managed to hold my first Hands-on Workshop for my colleagues at the Language Center of Kuwait University, on March 18th, 2003.I also succeeded in creating an on-line Handout for that event.Moreover, three FL instrcutors from my Unit left the wrokshop satisfied with their newly built home pages, already, published. Without this CoP, I wouldn't be able to create and develop new professional, effective web-pages; such :
  5. Particiapation in an on-line community, per se, helped me find that there is a correlation between on-line and face-to- face, (f2f), instructions. While the first made me enforce and encourage more of collaborative and cooperative learning inside a f2f classroom, the later helped me create, design, and instruct better online teaching/learning materials.

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Copyright©2003, Al Othman,Buthaina