Perceptions of Instructors on Using Web 2.0 Tools in Academic English Courses

Seher Balbay, Gokce Erkan

Abstract


It is impossible to imagine a university instructor who does not make use of the internet today. The internet provides not only quick access to reliable research data but also certain programs that teachers can tailor to use in their own specific contexts and to interact with their students in practical ways. There might still be resistance to learning new technologies and adapting to them even in the most ‘modern’ work environments even among the relatively younger teachers. The aim of this study was to explore the ELT instructors’ perspectives on the use of Web 2.0 technologies in university level academic English skills courses in an English-medium university, and to test whether a year-long regular training program made a difference in their perceptions and practice of the use of Web 2.0 tools in their teaching. 21 instructors from Middle East Technical University were offered regular training sessions on the practical uses of certain Web 2.0 tools such as, the Google Drive, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Docs, Google Forms, Kahoot, Mysimpleshow, Poll Everywhere, Nearpod, Mentimeter, Edpuzzle, and QR codes. A pretest and posttest to explore the instructors’ knowledge of and attitudes towards Web 2.0 tools were administered before and after the series of training sessions to see if there were any significant changes. Also, follow-up interviews were carried out with the instructors who participated in the sessions to obtain a deeper insight into their perspectives. Both the questionnaire and the interview results revealed that there were significant changes in these instructors’ attitudes towards the use of Web 2.0 tools.

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