Session 2B

Darren Brookes - QUT

Connecting Digitally: Online Mentoring of Cambodia TESOL Research Grant Recipients from ASEAN countries

Cambodia has experienced a transition over the past ten years, emerging from the devastation of its educational infrastructure due to a civil war. The Cambodia TESOL conference series, an initiative of IPD Cambodia, started in 2004 with around 150 delegates. This conference had grown to around 1700 delegates in February 2014. University English Centres Australia (UECA) initiated a regional research grant program and one day pre-conference Research Symposium in 2013.

Early career academics working in the field of TESOL across educational contexts, were encouraged to apply for a research grant to write and present a quantitative research paper for consideration for publication in the Language Education in Asia (LEIA) journal. These recipients were selected on the basis of the relevance of their research to the field of TESOL. As part of the research grant project, a mentor was called for from an Australian UECA member university to help support the grant recipients over an eight month period. In May 2013, Darren Brookes was selected to help support eight researchers presenting six papers.

Darren helped researchers with the structure and editing of their papers, offered help finding source materials and gave time management advice and strategies. Due to the geographical dispersal of the researchers, it was necessary to develop online techniques to best support and guide the researchers. It was also necessary to broaded the definition of success due to various cultural and logistical factors. In this session Darren will give a brief overview of the challenges of the project, the online and face to face strategies used to connect with researchers and lessons learned during the project.

Bio data:

Darren Brookes is the eLearning and Multimedia Co-ordinator for English Language Programs (ELP) at QUT International College (QUTIC). This is an academic leadership role, in which staff are supported in the use of elearning, m-learning and multimedia within their teaching practices. Darren is a regular presenter at University English Centres Australia (UECA) professional development days and has presented at the Cambodia TESOL conference in Phnom Penh on several occasions. Darren holds a Master’s degree in Applied Linguistics from the University of Queensland, and majored in Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL). Darren is currently investigating ways to implement Mobile Assisted Language Learning (MALL) to foster better learner engagement in ELP at QUTIC