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Web- based lessons have proven to be a good alternative for online classes, as they can include a huge number of resources that help teachers to improve their classes. This also represent an excellent alternative for ESL/EFL teachers who want to use authentic material in their lessons, because the web offers a wide variety of resources that allow students to access to multiple sources of information and to experience a real contact with the language that was very difficult to access before.
Despite the fact that web –based lesson may seem appropriate for distance classes, they can also be included in regular classes as a complement for regular classes and even when institutions offer computer labs facilities, it can be included in class, for preparing projects, watching videos or just to complement what it is taught in class.
Some people may think that traditional classes are more effective than the web based ones, and even may say that teachers use this type of lessons just to teach in a very lazy way. But the fact is that web lessons require more planning and revision than regular classes because teachers need to:
· Check the content and the means before using it.
- Set the goals for the activity.
- Define the skill that the teacher wants to work on.
- Decide the resource that is going to be used in the class.
- Design the follow- up activities.
- Check internet access and website availability.
· Prepare a backup plan in case that there is any trouble with the connection.
- Try the activity before the class begins.
- Be aware of any technological trouble that students may have.
- Be able to give students advice about any technological problem they have.
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Besides, it is very important that teacher monitor as frequently as possible what students are doing and how they are performing the task assigned.
But not only web based lessons can help teachers to make innovations in teaching, there are also other web based alternatives that can make assessment process easier for students, that is the case of e- portfolios and e- assessment, which have made the evaluation more friendly.
e- portaflios are students’ collection of works on the web, that help them not only to keep an easy to access record of their work, but also let them to correct or improve them at any time. This is a great assessment tool, not only because of its accessibility, but also because it helps students to develop their creativity and also encourage them to find something new to add to their work to make it better. Besides, according to Luitel (n.d), portfolios may offer a kind of authentic evaluation as it allows teachers to assess students from a wider perspective so it offers a better picture of what is going on in students’ minds as it shows not only results, but also the process that they went through to learn.
Finally, it is the e-assessment which consists on a set of online tools that let teachers to prepare different kinds of evaluation, including portfolios and online tests, which are suitable especially for distance education.
Online education alternatives are now just a click, and they have come to show us that everything is possible nowadays if it is well planned.
Luitel, B (s.f) Authentic and Portfolio Assessment. Curtin University of Technology.Disponible:http://au.geocities.com/bcluitel/assessment.htm