Online environments afford opportunities for participation, but equally offer a new perspective on engaging vicariously. This is highly relevant at a time when it has become imperative to support students’ academic development and keep them connected to their learning communities through coherent and pedagogically informed online learning design.
In this presentation, I will be drawing on socio-cognitive theory and the concept of vicarious learning to show how language learners combine live and vicarious participation in online tutorials to benefit their learning. The findings are based on a mixed-method study which explored language learners’ use of recorded tutorials in four large student cohorts at the Open University in the UK (n=964). I will argue that recorded group tutorials may mediate language learning by encouraging deep engagement with interactional input. The findings may inform online learning in higher education as well as other online contexts such as MOOCs.