Teaching Interpreting Online… Means Overcoming Misunderstandings

We made a unique decision when we were setting up the Master of Conference Interpreting on the Glendon Campus of York University, in Toronto, Canada. We decided to offer the first year of the program entirely online.

Doing so gave us tremendous advantages. We can recruit students from all over the world. We can hire instructors who have experience in any market, and with any international organization. We train students to be at the forefront of the use of technology in our field.

Yet training online also has drawbacks. This is because people come to us with a number of misconceptions about remote learning. In this video, we discuss three misunderstandings that we have to work against:

  1. Online learning is easier or less demanding than onsite learning;
  2. It’s hard to build connections between people online; and
  3. The online environment is simulation of the physical environment and should be understood that way.

All of these ideas are wrong. Before we can make progress with our students, we need to convince them that this is the case. Continue reading