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EVALUATING THE WORTH OF ONLINE DISCUSSION IN TARGET LANGUAGE IMPROVING THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE: PEDAGOGICAL THEORY AND PRACTICE S.CLARK.

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Presentation on theme: "EVALUATING THE WORTH OF ONLINE DISCUSSION IN TARGET LANGUAGE IMPROVING THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE: PEDAGOGICAL THEORY AND PRACTICE S.CLARK."— Presentation transcript:

1 EVALUATING THE WORTH OF ONLINE DISCUSSION IN TARGET LANGUAGE IMPROVING THE STUDENT EXPERIENCE: PEDAGOGICAL THEORY AND PRACTICE S.CLARK

2 EVALUATING THE WORTH OF ONLINE DISCUSSION IN TARGET LANGUAGE (1) Why am I looking for new ways of delivery? (2) Blended Learning (3) Why online discussion? (4) Theoretical support for design (5) Evaluating the worth of online discussion (6) Conclusion

3 Why am I looking for new ways of delivery? The need to improve students experience students concern – inadequate offerings of oral classes after a year abroad (1 lesson a week). students concern – inadequate offerings of oral classes after a year abroad (1 lesson a week). Departmental resources: No capacity (human/financial) for increasing number of lessons

4 Using blended learning Engaging the students of the current generation (screenagers) Engaging the students of the current generation (screenagers) active learning social web active learning social web techniques + presence online techniques + presence online in the real classroom (technology-based resources) in the real classroom (technology-based resources) (traditional teaching methods) (traditional teaching methods)

5 Average college grads spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games spent less than 5,000 hours of their lives reading, but over 10,000 hours playing video games use various types of new technologies ( s, blogs, wikis, etc) in their daily lives for social purposes use various types of new technologies ( s, blogs, wikis, etc) in their daily lives for social purposes this generation says that what they value most is discussion and hearing each others opinion (Prensky, 2001) this generation says that what they value most is discussion and hearing each others opinion (Prensky, 2001)

6 WHERE TO START? Just ask students to take part in online discussion? Just ask students to take part in online discussion? Put couple of questions? Put couple of questions? Tell them it is assessed? Tell them it is assessed? I need: I need: - theoretical support - theoretical support - practical advise - practical advise

7 CONSTRUCTIVISM+ SOCIAL LEARNING THEORY Knowledge is actively constructed through interactions with other learners. what is thought to be critical is the active participation and reflection by the learner (Berge, 1999). The questions should be: The questions should be: - meaningful to students, everyone feels so strongly about - promote personal interpretation - encourage reflection allowing students to progress through the levels of learning, defined in Blooms taxonomy (1956).

8 Cognitive Psychology Cognitive psychology Cognitive psychology Learning involves the use of memory, motivation, and thinking, reflection plays an important part in learning. Learning is an internal process. Learning involves the use of memory, motivation, and thinking, reflection plays an important part in learning. Learning is an internal process. for successful transfer into the long-term memory information should be presented in meaningful sequences and in appropriate size pieces. (Ally, 2004) Discussion is divided into 3 parts…. for successful transfer into the long-term memory information should be presented in meaningful sequences and in appropriate size pieces. (Ally, 2004) Discussion is divided into 3 parts…. a) concentrating on 1 issue b) devised timeline c) limit words discussion is assessed on participation and quality of thoughts rather than on grammar - promotes participation and free discussion discussion is assessed on participation and quality of thoughts rather than on grammar - promotes participation and free discussion

9 Behaviorists Strategies Behaviourism Behaviourism Learning is a change in observable behaviour caused by external stimuli and the environment (Skinner (1974) Learning is a change in observable behaviour caused by external stimuli and the environment (Skinner (1974) pre-discussion reading - initial what component. pre-discussion reading - initial what component. - language expectations - language expectations - required entry level for the discussion - required entry level for the discussion - corrective steps if necessary - corrective steps if necessary formulating a list of main themes (initial cognitive structure on which to build on) formulating a list of main themes (initial cognitive structure on which to build on) sequencing tasks from simple to complex to promote learning sequencing tasks from simple to complex to promote learning instructors feedback to allow students to monitor their progress instructors feedback to allow students to monitor their progress

10 EVALUATION It encouraged students to use target language It encouraged students to use target language It clearly achieved the main goal – to involve students in active learning process. It clearly achieved the main goal – to involve students in active learning process. In total: In total: - sessions hours spent messages posted messages read – 67 - messages posted messages read – 67 It extends the boundaries of face to face discussions in class: It extends the boundaries of face to face discussions in class: Flexibility+ Conveniance - available 24/7 Flexibility+ Conveniance - available 24/7 Permanent record – used during the next F2F discussion Permanent record – used during the next F2F discussion Time to reflect - In comparison to F2F discussion responses are more logical, thoughtful, have more evidence to support their point of view, and more complex vocabulary used Time to reflect - In comparison to F2F discussion responses are more logical, thoughtful, have more evidence to support their point of view, and more complex vocabulary used Takes care of different types of learners Takes care of different types of learners ? Silent learners/witness learners, lurkers

11 STUDENTS FEEDBACK SUMMARY 73% gave feedback to the discussion. 19/26 73% gave feedback to the discussion. 19/ % of replies stated that the online discussion was an enjoyable and useful extension to the F2F class and aided their deeper understanding of the issues. 89.5% of replies stated that the online discussion was an enjoyable and useful extension to the F2F class and aided their deeper understanding of the issues. They felt that it stimulated thought, helped them to learn new vocabulary, allowed to express their thoughts freely. They felt that it stimulated thought, helped them to learn new vocabulary, allowed to express their thoughts freely. It is nice to be doing something so interactive with writing. It is nice to be doing something so interactive with writing.

12 STUDENTS FEEDBACK Positive - 17 out of 19 useful useful beneficial beneficial interesting interesting enjoyable enjoyable helpful helpful manageable manageable engaging engaging aiding vocabulary building aiding vocabulary building developing critical thinking developing critical thinking aiding construction of knowledge aiding construction of knowledge great idea extremely useful to be able to express our thoughts freely good to be able to read lots of different opinions more enjoyable to be feeding off each other's comments good to practise our Russian on a week-long basis allowed the new vocabulary to remain in my brain encouraged me provided structured framework make this type of assignment more regular!

13 REPRESENTATIVE OPINION I found the whole week's exercises very beneficial - it encouraged me to keep up with my russian as well as providing a much more structured framework to my study. Being able to read other people's ideas was useful - for both content and also the vocabulary/grammar used. I thought the interaction between the students was very beneficial as it gave you a platform from which to base your own opinion be it in agreement or not. Although we already have a lot of pressure and other deadlines, I would welcome the idea of making last week's assignments more regular. I found the whole week's exercises very beneficial - it encouraged me to keep up with my russian as well as providing a much more structured framework to my study. Being able to read other people's ideas was useful - for both content and also the vocabulary/grammar used. I thought the interaction between the students was very beneficial as it gave you a platform from which to base your own opinion be it in agreement or not. Although we already have a lot of pressure and other deadlines, I would welcome the idea of making last week's assignments more regular.

14 At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done – then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. (Burnett, F.H. (1911) The Secret Garden) At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done – then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago. (Burnett, F.H. (1911) The Secret Garden)


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