Online Resources for Conference Interpreter Training

ORCIT conference 2016, Thessaloniki

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From instruction to collaboration: technology enhanced interpreter training

Technology-enhanced learning (TEL) has dominated the educational sector for over 30 years and the developments in the new millennium have been truly breathtaking culminating in the world proliferation of OERs (Open Educational Resources) and MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). In September 2013 the European Commission launched the ‘Opening up Education through new technologies’ initiative to improve education through ICT tools and make knowledge more accessible to learners in any part of the world. Use of technology in training of interpreters has also become a major trend.

Open access resources incorporating interpreter training materials have sprung up on a multitude of websites, complementing classroom activities and supporting distance- and blended-learning modes of training. It is a given that e-learning is set to augment skills, competences and knowledge of students, including interpreter trainees.

However, technology-led developments are inevitably met by challenges that affect all the stakeholders in the field, from technology experts to practitioners, from educationalists to policy makers. The challenges range from a lack of expert and theoretical knowledge about the use of learning technology to sometimes limited digital literacy among users. Stakeholders are concerned about the quality assurance of OERs, clarity of copyright, discoverability and sustainability, and more.

The aim of the conference was to address the wide range of challenges that OERs present in the field of interpreter training and to draw up a list of recommendations for those working in this field, including trainers, researchers, developers, instructional designers and other key players.

Abstracts for conference presentations were invited for the following themes:

  • Pedagogical value of interactive open-access resources in interpreting training
  • Contemporary perspectives in learning and technology research (blended learning interactivity and social interaction; self-directed study; multimodality, etc.)
  • Complementarity of OERs with face-to-face learning and integration in curriculum design
  • Design and product: Subject Matter Expert, Instructional Designer and Localiser perspective
  • Challenges:
    • Quality assurance
    • Multilingualism
    • Measuring impact
    • Digital literacy (learner and trainer)
    • Discoverability
    • Copyright clarity
    • Sustainability
  • Technology-enhanced training for public service interpreters