Saturday, November 29, 2014

#Entry 39 IDT1415 Reflection on Hurd's 2007 Strategies online learners deploy to reduce anxiety

Reflect on the strategies listed below:

1) Do you think these are good strategies for coping with anxiety?

2) Do you think the technology plays a role in making (or not) these strategies effective?

3) Could these insights be transferred to the F2F classroom?

First of all, I would say that the mere fact that these were reported by students themselves rather than prepared by researchers or clinical specialists, in my opinion, validate their effectiveness to some extent as they are evidence that as human beings those students were aware of their problem and had taken action to cope with it. From a more academic perspective, I would argue they all fall under the 2 strategies identified by Oxford (2011:16) in the affective dimension: activating supportive emotions, beliefs and attitudes (from top to bottom No. 1, 3-7, ) and Generating and maintaining motivation (2, 8, 9). As regards technology and the role it may play in making them effective or not, I would say that its role and its degree of influence on the effectiveness of these strategies may change depending on the context e.g. DL, blended learning or F2F. As argued in my reply to Henry's post: ' Horwitz' comments are then still valid but largely debilitated by their stronger counterparts: anonymity, collaborative nature, asynchronousness, cyber proximity, lack of immediate response pressure, and the like.' these traits I call counterparts one may logically argue have a direct effect on the level of effectiveness these strategies may have in a computer mediated environment. My preceding comments have almost answered the third question. All the same, I believe that these insights are definitely transferable not only to a F2F classroom but to any learning and teaching environment should they inform the tutor and their methodological practice so as to have the learner at the centre of their practice. I strongly believe the key to a successful learning environment to be in our level of understanding of how learning takes place, our awareness of the students, a clear realisation of why we teach and a solid grasp of how 'technologies work dynamically with pedagogies not for them' (Cousin 2005:118). With these in mind, then even the F2F classroom with the implication of proximity, seating arrangement, immediacy of response requirement, etc., would become the place where teaching aids of any kind are orchestrated by an educator who sees their students as human beings and not plebes at the service of a tyrant.


Cousin, G., 2005. Learning from Cyberspace. In Ray Land and Sian Bayne, ed. Education in Cyberspace. Routledge.

Oxford, R. L., 2011. Teaching and Researching Language Learning Strategies. Applied Linguistics in Action Series. Eds. C.N. Candlin and D.R. Hall. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

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