RESOURCE: Teaching with Twitter: how the social network can contribute to learning
The important question to ask regarding e-learning is: What does an online space make possible by way of teaching that my class couldn’t do face-to-face? One effective answer to this is that online spaces allow students to role play and inhabit characters in a way that would be a rather embarrassing drama workshop if tried in the classroom. So in a discussion forum my entire class of 30 students can all ‘be’ one of the characters from Charles Dickens’s Bleak House, and, in character, debate the motion ‘This house believes the law is an ass’. To do this with flair they have to get under the skin of their character. In other words, they have to read the novel carefully and well, which is exactly what I want them to do. This kind of ludic, playful and creative activity is also something I have come to regard as very much having a place within the more critical discipline of English studies.