Tom Flaherty receiving his eModeration course voucher from Nicky
Tom Flaherty receiving his eModeration course voucher from Nicky

In February, Tom Flaherty won the rather splendid raffle prize of a free place on The Consultants-E’s March eModeration course. After the course we asked him a few questions.

Here’s what he said…

TCE: How have you benefited as a result of the course?  Has/ Will your teaching / approach to teaching changed?

Tom: This course has allowed me to look at online teaching/moderating in a completely different light. If I consider previous experiences, I was finding it difficult to convert various face-to-face teaching approaches into online-friendly methods to benefit students – this course has helped me to look at this issue in more detail, and has also provided me with a wealth of activities that support these approaches.  

TCE: What has been the most important result of your winning the scholarship?

Tom: By winning the scholarship, I have been able to take part in a course that has opened my eyes to a whole new area of teaching through an incredibly engaging, thought-provoking and hands-on approach. Before this course, I had had some bad experiences in online courses, but now I have finished this course being able to understand where previous courses went wrong, and what I can do to ensure that students are motivated and engaged throughout the duration of the online programme in the future.

TCE: If you could pass on one tip to a person who hasn’t done the e-Moderation course, what would it be?

Tom: Ultimately, the best advice I would give to someone looking to join the course is to enter the programme with as open a mind as possible. As already mentioned, I had had previous bad experiences with various online courses, especially when it came to student motivation, and as such was worried that this experience would bring back bad memories. Instead, I experimented with a wealth of different activities on the course to find tasks that I found both interesting and engaging – and by being able to analyse these tasks with a group of like-minded individuals, you feel that you’re definitely in a supportive learning environment. By welcoming all ideas/thoughts/discussions I felt that I was able to get much more out of the course. 

Tom also said…

[This] course has inspired me to seek out some collaborators for a new online teaching project, so hopefully I’ll have some student work to show you in the not-too-distant future! 

…As our profession moves increasingly towards the online sphere, with more and more students looking to learn English through the Internet and various online platforms/apps, I think it’s incredibly important that we as teachers are able to understand and exploit this sphere with as much aplomb as if we were exploiting course materials in the classroom. I saw a great quote recently that said 21st century teachers need 21st century skills, and I believe that being able to incorporate online teaching and other technology into their repertoire is integral to this. 

It’s now time to sign up for the next eModeration course which starts on 2nd June. Lindsay Clandfield will be the tutor and we are confident that you will benefit as much as Tom did – even if you haven’t won your place in a raffle. 😉

Find out more and enrol here.