Autonomy, technology and language teacher education: what works?

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Autonomy has been defined as a key goal of learning across curricula for at least two decades. Yet, the concept of learner autonomy remains nebulous. While pedagogical literature highlights the importance of autonomy for learning, it is less clear how to promote it in specific contexts, such as in technology supported learning environments. Developing learner autonomy and learning in technology-supported environments are presented as forming a strong alliance in professional literature. This relationship between autonomy and technology is not new, nor is it clearly defined. For example, while websites promoting online programs emphasise the need for learners to be ‘autonomous’ in order to be successful, they do not specify what that concept entails in practice. This lack of clarity in defining the rapport between autonomy and technology stems from many reasons. The explanations may include inconsistency in defining learner autonomy, the diversity in the ways technology is used to support learning and the lack of understanding of how learners respond to autonomy-promoting practices. This paper has three aims. First, it evaluates definitions and features of learner autonomy applicable in the technology-supported learning environments. Second, it applies these definitions to examine a learning environment employed for developing language teacher education programs at Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia. Finally, it investigates patterns of student interaction with learning resources provided through the Blackboard Learning Management System at Bond to examine possible practices promoting autonomy of ‘brick & mortar’ and online students.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - May 2018
Event6th International Conference: Autonomy in language learning and teaching: The case of target language skills and subsystems - Conference Center of State University of Applied Sciences, Konin, Poland
Duration: 7 May 20189 May 2018
Conference number: 6th


Conference6th International Conference: Autonomy in language learning and teaching
Abbreviated titleAutonomy conference 2018
Internet address


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