Online learning with the use of synchronous communication tools

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201806132527
Title: Online learning with the use of synchronous communication tools
Author: Ostrovska, Valeriia
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Humanistinen tiedekunta, Nykykielten laitos
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Arts, Department of Modern Languages
Helsingfors universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Institutionen för moderna språk
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2018
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-201806132527
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/236193
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: englantilainen filologia
English Philology
Engelsk filologi
Abstract: In this thesis work I study online learning with the use of synchronous communication tools. In the context of this work, I view online learning as a learning environment that can support a communicative approach to language teaching. My study intends to answer the following research questions: what is students' and teachers' attitude towards online learning with the use of synchronous communication tools? What are the advantages and disadvantages of online learning with the use of synchronous communication tools? Why do students choose to learn English online? The central object of the research is the Vimbox learning platform, a synchronous communication tool developed and utilised by the SkyEng school, one of the biggest online language schools in Russia. The Vimbox platform exists in the form of a virtual class that allows synchronous communication between a student and a teacher via audio and video transmission. My research is qualitative in nature. The data was obtained by interviewing eleven participants, nine students and two teachers who learn/teach English at the SkyEng online school. The data allows the study of students' and teachers' attitudes towards online learning with the use of synchronous communication tools as well as the advantages and disadvantages of this form of education. Based on the results of the analysis, flexibility of time and place is the main advantage of online learning. The main disadvantage of online learning is its dependence on the Internet where the stability of Internet access affects the workability of synchronous communication tools. The results of the analysis reveal that both SkyEng students and teachers are generally satisfied with online learning via the Vimbox platform and that its disadvantages are not significant compared to the advantages. The study concludes that the quality of online education depends on the appropriate organisation of the learning process, learning material, and the teacher's skills to manage online lessons and communicate with the students. Hence, in order to be beneficial for a student, online education needs to meet student's learning goals and expectations.
Subject: language learning
online learning
synchronous communication tools
online learning platform


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