IS VIRTUAL EDUCATION A SUSTAINABLE OPTION: INSIGHTS FROM ONLINE COMMUNICATION CLASSES PUBLISHEDAlina-Andreea URLICA1, Laura COROAMA DORNEANU1, Iasmina IOSIM1, Iasmina SAVESCU1, M. R. LUNGU1, R. PASCALAU1 1Banat’s USAMVBT “King Michael I of Romania” firstname.lastname@example.org
The study explores the current digitalization of learning / teaching processes and the learners’ perspectives on this new educational experience as regards communication, as well as benefits and limitations of this emerging trend. The latest developments have transferred education onto electronic devices, leaving many students without voices and / or “faces”, as they remain hidden or self-erased in the new virtual environments. Questionnaires have been applied to students from Banat’s University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine “King Michael I of Romania” from Timisoara, Romania during the second semester of the academic year 2020-2021. The students who sent in feedback were from various specializations at the faculties of Food Processing, Tourism Management, Biology, Horticulture, and Landscaping. Based on a qualitative analysis from the perspective of ecosemiotics and ecological communication approaches, the paper discusses opportunities for multimodal communicative learning. For this purpose, it proposes to develop multimodal and collaborative competences in language learners inspired by evidence-based insights into the principles provided by ecolinguistics. As a result, we explore the possibility of preserving the ecology of the learning environment in an active, enabling, and participatory manner. We also emphasize some relevant aspects that ought to be considered when implementing distance education, in the light of fostering a sense of a community of practice in a sustainable transformative learning process.
communication, language learning / teaching, ecolinguistics, ecology of virtual learning environemnts, sustainability