Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Pre-Orientation Complete!

Just finished my EPIK Pre-Orientation Course lessons and took the test.  Just need to print out the certificate now and add it to my records to take it with me to Korea to show my head teacher.
There's not much to say about the Pre-Orientation Course except that it gives you an overview of some important educational theories (e.g. B.F. Skinner, Vygotsky, etc.) - essentially the barest bones of what is covered in a 100-level teacher education course (see Figure 1 below).  It then looks at some language acquisition theories and methods of teaching language before giving you a tiny bit on classroom management (something that actually cannot be taught and/or learned except through experience... which I say as someone who "learned" about it for several years of teacher education courses and then actually learned it when teaching).
Figure 1.  EPIK Pre-Orientation Course list of lessons and interface
After covering the tip-of-a-pinkie-finger's-worth of information about teaching, the pre-orientation course then gives an introduction to Korean language, culture, and history.  I actually really liked this portion of the course (which probably bodes well for me and Korean culture in general).  I am naturally inquisitive so this was cool.  I can't wait for the Korean culture experiences we're sure to have at orientation in Korea.

For people that will take this course in the future:

  • You must spend 15 minutes in each lesson for it to be recorded (online timers are a good idea). I found myself averaging around 20-40 minutes because I may or may not have been paying attention for parts of it, and because I was recording the quiz questions.
  • Make sure to hit the lesson complete button after the lesson!  I did not make the mistake of not doing so because of others who have gone before me and extended their warnings.
  • Download the lesson notes.  Ctrl + F is a useful function at the end of each lesson...
  • Record the questions at the end of each lesson in the appropriate notes file so you have them as references.  I even wrote out why the other options were incorrect.
  • The test at the end becomes very simple if you complete the above steps (especially the previous two).  You may only need 10 minutes to take the final test and do very well on it if you do (and you actually only need a 70%)...

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