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Home Journal Index 2022-3

A Case of Transition: An Independent Study Course Goes Online

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Naomi Fujishima
Susan Meiki
Okayama University, Japan

Ever since the switch from face-to-face to online classes in 2020, the greatest initial challenge for teachers and students has been to adjust and adapt to the technology necessary for this change to happen. Some concerns included whether students had adequate connectivity to the internet, and if they had the necessary skills and technological know-how to participate actively in online classes. In this case study we address these concerns as well as identify additional pedagogical issues and examine how teaching of particular content may be better in an online context. One of the biggest challenges was how to transform a face-to-face Independent Study Course into one delivered online. Learners were encouraged to take charge of their learning as they were guided through the processes of setting goals, selecting materials, planning learning activities, monitoring progress, and assessing outcomes.

As we worked to convert the course, we faced a number of issues. For example, how could we monitor student activities? How could we make sure they were getting enough opportunities to use what they learned? To explore these questions, we adopt a narrative style and describe how we modified and transformed the mode of delivery from face-to-face to online. We begin with a description of the original classroom-based course. Next, we discuss the challenges we faced moving online. We conclude by offering pedagogical recommendations in the hope that the lessons we learned will be of help to other educators interested in delivering similar courses.

Independent study, digital technology, online learning, learner autonomy, learning management systems