robin_anne_reid: (Treehouse)
robin_anne_reid ([personal profile] robin_anne_reid) wrote2013-01-03 04:25 pm

MLA 2013 Session #60: Learning outomes in online second language environments

This presentation included powerpoints for all three, images, and, in the last presentation, a lot of graphs and statistical information. It's challenging to try to 'render' that in typed text (as opposed to a presentation that is delivered entirely verbally), and I'm not sure how good a job I did!

I don't teach languages, but I wanted to get notes from this session for my department's language faculty.

As I said earlier, rough notes, spellchecked and slightly edited, but probably less clear in some places due to my disciplinary ignorance.

Thursday, 3 January, 1:45–3:00 p.m., 206, Hynes
Presiding: Sébastien Dubreil, Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville

Learning outcomes--linguistics? Group. Fifteen minutes per each. Questions: propose on twitter, write them down, and hold them until the end of the session.

1. "Teaching Language and Culture through Social Media and Networks," Edward M. Dixon, Univ. of Pennsylvania

Director of the Penn language Center at the U P, also teaches German, very active member of the community. Northeastern Association of Language Learning and technology. Going to talk about some work he's done with social networking in German, already published, and this.

This picture here is used to advertise the online courses in the summer at Penn. They meet online, and meet and chat. A chat in German and English: at home on couch.

One of the outcomes I'm starting to see is that they interact in a more authentic environment.

Many different approaches: self and task based learning. Instructors and tutors as mentors to guide student. Flip classroom whereby community centered learning environments see recorded lectures, communicate with peers in online discussions groups, and peer mentoring.

Online courses assimilate the learning environment of the face/face classroom, but us the new techniques for pedagogical outcomes. Elementary ones taught face/face, online in the summer. Class participation is replaced by social networking.

Can both formats produce the same results; does one do it better than the others (Summer online).

Collaborative role playing approach in online course. Course objectives but means are different: Adobe Connect, Blackboard, Face book, Google Docs.

Free online self-learning program (Deutsch Intraktiv) open access. authentic digital videos, slides, audio text, overview of culture and language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland. Sequencing of course topics are planned in accordance with common European network based on proficiency from A1-B-1. Students able to perform

Can understand main points of clear standard input
Situations deal with travelling
Simple connected texts on familiar topics
Can describe experience.

Program has own build in comprehension checks--there is testing--I don't duplicate the wheel by testing in the online class.

Testing in DA is practice which can be repeated until student achieved perfect score. Portfolio assessment of students works: 5 blogs, 10 Facebook entries, 25 oral assignments, 3 online oral interviews, 2 online tests, online final, 10 interactive lessons etc.

Has points for each of the categories (final interview, and final exam).
Instead of testing they're doing writing and interviews, testing them for their proficiency levels rather than test scores.

I want to move on to the problem with program that is for reading and writing and he has to bring the social interactive content to the course.

Use Adobe Connect, What can Adobe connect do; PowerPoint presentations, introduce content, grammar, it's sort of linked presentation mode, and then we go into the second phase: first phase is his; second interact with students, ask them questions about the content; the second phase is that they interact with each other in written and oral chats.

Cycle: Third is in class non structured -- and fourth is out of class asynchronous activities with instructor feedback.

Not doing textbook activities: trying to align the activities they're doing in the online course with the activities they're doing in homework assignments.

Trick I is making it work.

So this is where the students begin interacting with me: Adobe Connect.

Chatrooms allow students to intrat with each other--what I love about this program. I can create Chatrooms and put them in groups and pairs. And the beauty is that I can see exactly what they're doing and give them immediate feedback to all four groups. They can see each other's work and learn from each other. They can see ideas and linguistic competency. It's a collaborative environment. WRITTEN chatroom

After they do this, they go into the oral classroom where they can repeat or develop new. Then the homework assignments build on it: Essay blogs, simple essays, talking about themselves (looks fairly short on scree). Gives them global feedback and cover main problem in essays. They have to self-correct. Then gives them a list of errors put at the end to find and identify themselves.. Goal is for language competency so they can improve and thinking about where their mistakes are.

By end of 12 weeks, they're writing this much content (and not talking about themselves full screen, multiple page, ten or more) about a children's book they're reading.

Also use Facebook: after first day of class of talking to each other and getting to know each other--recycling who they are, where they come from. This s after an hour and fifteen minutes of instructions--I couldn't see them because we were interacting orally, but they didn't want the camera on because it was a distraction, just the audio stuff. I came to my colleague the first day, and wasn't sure they were learning, but he saw by Facebook entries there's a lot happening.

Using stuff in face/face class--what I do in online, helps with f/f. So brought face book into face/face class where they will interact on their own.

Also students are correcting each other in friendly and professional way.

Example from b.

After two weeks, we had interview, where students had following topics (greetings, backgrounds etc.). Grammar and new vocabulary as well as recycled vocabulary.

Student evaluations highest evaluation for the course is 4.0--highest for online.

Responses: enjoyed online aspect, but did. Thought it was easier to concentrate without the traditional classroom format. They experienced it immersion. If it as good as or better than anyone.

The homework was all great. Much praise for it--they're seeing the homework activities as one sort of cycle which is what I want them to experience.

Building a Model for online Distance Courses Through Social Media and Networks.

Outcomes: shift from private to more public learning spaces.
is teacher centered and more student and community.
Extensive collaboration and participation.
Learning for meaningful and effective communication rather than for passing chapters tests and unit exams.
More learning for self-correction and per correction--much more peer learning.

Out of class activities--collaborative peer learning, fostered communication, in class activities.

More authentic learning of structures as they are needed for conversation and communication.

Non-threatening learning environment.

QUESTIN ON: own FB, etc. they have use own Facebook, but have a private group, so only people in class can see the postings.

2. "Developing Pronunciation Skills at the Introductory Level: Motivating Students through Interpersonal Audio Discussions," Cindy Lepore, Univ. of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Use technology in phonetics and phonology.

French, concentration in linguistics.
Talking about the pilot study that is a prelude to the research I've been doing for dissertation.

Background: students want and are held to native speaker norm. absence of clear methodology and teaching materials regarding pronunciation. Social environments are useful in developing proficiency.

How can this be addressed.
So many online social environments.

Emerging social technologies, how they fit into language classroom, investigate motivators associated with development of pronunciation skills

Came up with idea Interpersonal Audio Discussion

Audio based discussion board.
Users participate asynchronously
Voice Thread: group conversations shared and collected in one plate. Conversations presented as collaborative, multi0media slide shows.

Voce thread example if you actually went into a voice thread to participate.

Atkins? Affordances of voice thread: Like a discussion board, see how the users are in the voice thread; those are the people who left comments; this is just one slide out of an entire slide show, can have many slides. Conceptualized in this on visual diagram.

Not a lot of disparate comments.

Collective wisdom of everyone participating. Social technologies allow feedback , comments from larger audience.

Can be instantaneous. .Lots of uses.

R Questions

What are effects of participation in IAD on students' pronunciation in intro French courses?
Which aspects of the treatment impact student motivations?
What I role of audio on participation.

Pilot study: French 103
Intensive first year review courses that covers both semesters in one semester.

False beginners, past work in French.
13 students who consented to study
18-25, 8 female, 5 male.
5 were majors or minors (more motivated)
7 wanted to use French in career.
One of instruments noted snapshot of students--high self-confidence.

Data Collection and Instruments:

Mixed methods design

Quantitative: pre-questionnaire, VT ratings, self-assessment, exit questionnaire.

Qual: exit question questionnaire, instructor/rater reviews. Interpretation based on both quan and qual results.

Interviews with instructor of course, and raters of Voice Threads (graduate students).

2 grad students: 1 native speaker, one nonnative speaker. Completed rating form provided to student as part of feedback. Students did self-assessment.

Timeline: 1 semester.

Multiple activities integrated into the curriculum for semester.

Debriefing with instructor and raters.
First day: VT homework information sheet, using Voice Thread
All of students participated whether or not they were in study.
Pre-questionnaire, consent, initial snapshot. Biographical data, major, etc.
More about their perceptions of beliefs and attitudes about how to improve pronunciation.
VT activities: four
Initial practice, introduce themselves,
Corresponded to topics covering in class
Activity duration 2 weeks
After students went into thread, participated, assessed by readers, feedback given them, self-assessment , hard to develop self-assessment form that was useful. Kept trying to change. Plus, minus, etc. Students compare themselves to someone in the classroom, relating to confidence or anxiety.

After each activity.

Each activity lasted around two weeks.

Exit questionnaire -- Atkinson and Burden --what did they like, what did they find to be motivating or demotivating.

Instruct and rater interviews.

Tested all the stuff (ARGH NUMBERS)>

Chronbach's Alpha
Pearson's R.

Uses quoted to back up results.

No significant difference in pronunciation between first and last one.
Correlations some statistically significant--if students identified it as important, they also place more importance on speaking practice in class.

Peer feedback: if they felt it was motivating, they had a tendency to report that the treatment was positive motivator.

Perceived gins reported--also reported they had less anxiety.

Knowing a peer would give them feedback and be listening--increase in motivation, confidence, less anxiety. Overall positive benefit.


Higher anxiety reported knowing they would be singled out for review by a peer.
Speedy feedback from instructor preferred
Confusion with instructions, deadlines, website.

Positive: go back and listen to and or re-record comments of VT.

Updates/Alternations: final study done.

Alternations made.

Eliminated third party raters; instructor took on larger role, giving them feedback.

I asked student in pilot study to try to remain anonymous, don't put personal pictures, etc. They totally ignored that, and it is a social technology, they do want to share things about themselves. Everybody sharing all the time. Eliminated it in the study.

Updated activity format: VT, to foster interactions, work with several deadlines, because students were confused about when they should be posting and when--activity divided into three steps: brainstorming task, then initial comments by deadline one; now go back in and interact. (MY discussion, clear deadlines).

Instructor conducted hands on training in the classroom which helped.

Self-assessment task, instead of identifying a specific person, they compared themselves in general, so they did not have to identify a certain person.

Added a journalist task and open ended items.

Pedagogical implications:

The use of VT alone does not result in improvement of pronunciation accurate or fluency.

Sheds light on role of peer motivation in development of pronunciation skills importance of relationship between motivation and feedback supported environments; students have positive perceptions of VT features as a tool to hone pronunciation skills.

Depending on learner preference: some people may not like it (positive or negative is individual wok); student anxiety may increase or decreases (apprehension).

Six had positive experience; others 7 not to positive. It was a small study, so no way to know reliability.

3. "Español Two Hundred: Bridging Medium, Collaboration, and Communities of Practice," Adolfo Carrillo Cabello, Iowa State Univ.; Cristina Pardo Ballester, Iowa State Univ.

Two presenters.

Both in online and hybrid courses environments, doing lots of work.

Background: focusing on writing

Improvement of writing tasks
Transition to Blackboard 9
Implementation of interactive grading rubric (to avoid having too much to grade/correct)
Increase awareness of grading criteria on students' part
Communities of practice, collaboration, shared knowledge

Course interface in Blackboard

Moving from WEB CT to Blackboard 9
Kept similar interface based on icons..
Writing assignments that follow up on readings that students complete.
Icon has writing assignments in humanities area: three tasks to complete. First there's reading for the chapter, then there's a comprehension quiz, then there's a writing assignment called "one step further" in which they write about what they learned in reading.


Two semesters
201 and 202
N=140, N=25
First language, mostly English but not all
97 F, 43 M
Age18-22, mostly 18
Seven sections of 1.

Major shift from first to second class, all first language English.

Collected data working in pairs or groups in writing assignments (80.6% said yes).
Peer review experiences (90.29) Mostly in class

Procedures: pre-surveys (first week of class--background, etc.)

Mid semester snapshot so far..

Post: final impressions, at the end.

Grammatical structure for each one changed.

18 items
6 background
Liker scale
Open ended question to elicit comments

(hard to make sense of while looking, not trying to write up).


Reading, review instructions for writing task; they are provided for grading criteria (interactive embedded within the instructions that students receive), then they switch into the writing of the first version of the task; then they do peer review, revise, and obtained a grade.

Access to audio recording, synonyms, translations.

Changed in shift to BB: instructions for all the tasks for the semester in one place.

Screenshot of the rubric that students receive when they read instructions--how many points for each of categories.

Shot of entry--will see total views--how many other people have seen their entries.

This is what students see in peer review assignment: list of entries that have been posted, and then they get to choose who they want to comment on.

Interactive rubric pulled out of grade.

Screenshots of the process.


Limitations not able to track individual students, track load for teachers.


Medium used had an effect on opinions students developed
Provide more information about points to cover in peer review
Provide clear expectations in terms of due dates in syllabus. Not just in online courses.

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