Teachers’ beliefs exert a strong influence on their practice. Therefore it is essential that students undertaking teacher education develop an ability to critically assess their own beliefs in relation to practice. The BMELTT (Blending MOOCs for English Language Teacher Training) project explores how the integration of an existing MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) into ELT programmes at both undergraduate and postgraduate level, can impact on students’ beliefs, while at the same time providing them with the opportunity to engage in reflection with a global community of practice. The participants were students on ELT programmes in the UK, the Netherlands and China, some were experienced teachers and some were new to teacher education. BMELTT involved reflecting on ELT themes in three ways: face-to-face in class; through a Virtual Exchange (VE) with the project partners; and with all the participants on the MOOC (around 40,000). To the authors’ knowledge, there are no other research studies of this nature available, where a MOOC blend is used in conjunction with a VE to support the reflection on professional development in ELT. Another distinctive feature of BMELTT is that the action research cycle reported here was driven by an ‘expert student’, which enabled staff to see their practice from a novel perspective.
The results illustrate that BMELTT stimulated a reflection on what it means to be an autonomous learner and an autonomous teacher in the digital age. It is hoped that these results can provide the ELT community with an innovative model of professional development.
|Number of pages||48|
|Publication status||Published - Jan 2019|