Novice and Experienced EFL Instructors’ Technology Use and Pedagogical Skills in Virtual Classrooms: A Case Study in a Foundation University
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Teaching is a demanding process requiring the combination of multifarious skills. Since classroom management skills and competence in technology are vital for teachers, several studies focusing on the challenges regarding these issues have been conducted in traditional face-to-face educational settings. However, instructors’ technological and pedagogical skills in virtual classrooms and depending on their teaching experience, how they use these skills differently is still unclear. This study examines EFL instructors' use of technological and pedagogical skills in virtual classes by focusing on the problems they face regarding these skills and their solutions for the problems. It also investigates the relationship between instructors’ demographics and their pedagogical and technological skills in virtual classrooms by adopting a mixed-methods research design including qualitative data acquired through one-to-one interviews and quantitative data obtained using a questionnaire. It includes 50 instructors from a private university’s prep school. The findings demonstrate there is not any significant difference among the instructors varied in teaching experience in applying technological and pedagogical skills in virtual settings. On the other hand, the instructors whose field is ELT differ from the ones in the different fields by overperforming in technology use. Accordingly, the courses involving practices about technological and pedagogical skills might be integrated into every field's curriculum for teacher candidates, to promote using those skills more competently. Decision-makers can provide in-service and pre-service programs to develop instructors' and prospective teachers’ technological literacy in online language education. Since the study's participants are limited, it would not be accurate to generalize the findings.