Promoting Prospective Teachers' Reflection Through Online Discussion Forums
The purpose of this presentation is to share the experience of a group of prospective teachers of English who participated in online discussion forums, as part of the development of a training course on ELT material design. Follow up tasks implemented drew connections between the in-class content and the online discussion forums, providing time to reflect and think and allowing both introverted and extroverted students to be involved in online discussions. Online discussion forums provided this group of students a more flexible learning environment that allowed further reflection, as they could go beyond classroom activities and expand their discussion on specific topics related to their future role as teachers of English. Students’ perceptions which were explored through a survey, revealed a positive response towards the integration of a virtual learning space within the teaching training process, which was a new experience for these prospective teachers. Likewise, some implications on this experience address the need to provide balanced and constructive intervention when moderating forums, to enhance student engagement and contribute to building an online learning community.
Keywords - prospective teachers, online discussion forums, reflection, moderation