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Autonomy, learner independence, self-direction, self-management Oxford (2003) presents a model of autonomy Technical perspective—focus on physical situation Psychological perspective—focus on characteristics of learners Sociocultural perspective—focus on mediated learning Political-critical perspective—focus on ideologies, access, and power structure
Setting. Benson’s (2001) and Candy’s (1991) textsprovide comprehensive looks at establishingself-directed learning settings with a focus on adultlearning.Learning styles and strategies. The ability toaddress multiple learning styles has long been citedas an advantage of using multimedia in languageteaching and learning, from early work bySmith (1989) to current CALL overviews, such asthose offered by Meskill (2002) and Egbert (2005).Age. Younger learners can also engage inautonomous learning, e.g., Dam (1995).
Classroom Observation: Student Autonomyhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndXMIUFdqIYOscar, a 5th grade student, leads the class in avariety of learning activities.Examples include checking homework, wholeclass discussions, reviewing student work,reading groups (reciprocal teaching), singing,peer review, spelling tests, and more.
Individual vs. group work.-- Steven (2006) emphasizes the role of technology increating and sustaining communities of practice inEnglish language learning.-- Ts can exploit software to create opportunities forpair and group work. Research has indicated that thetask, not the technology, enhances or inhibitsextended discussion at the computer (Abraham &Liou, 1991; Piper, 1986).Control and the locus power. Although not everyonemay want to be immersed in technology, knowledgeabout and access to technology are a source of powerin today’s world.
Table 25-1. Settings for Self-Directed Learning
With fast, reliable connections, learners can takeadvantage of real-time, synchronous interactionwith multiuser object-oriented domains (MOOs),chat http://www.edweek.org/ew/events/chats/2012/04/09/index.html?intc=EW-TC12-LNAV,and instant message (Windows Live Messenger).Learners can also use the delayed interaction,asynchronous mode of e-mail for peer review ofwriting and project work, an option that isespecially useful for those whose partners are indifferent time zones.
Self motivation. Having a public venue for one’swork, such as a Web site, blog, or podcast, providesa sense of accomplishment that can furtherenhance learner motivation.Independent style. When learners can make achoice based on their level, thus having an elementof control, learning is enhanced (Goforth, 1994).Self knowledge. Learners given advice about theirlevel of knowledge will practice for a moreappropriate time than if they do not havefeedback.Technology and barriers. Pair work and promptassistance
Vygotsky’s (1934, 1986) ZPD and other socialconstructivists (e.g., Walker & Lambert, 1885)emphasize the need for interpersonal interactionto enhance learning.Wenger’s (1998) mutuality in the communities ofpractice-- Ts and Ss need to know how to use computer-based tools to support community functions.The WebQuest Page http://webquest.org/ has scores ofmodels for Ts and Ss to use in designing projectscollaboratively.
Autonomous learning can fit well with elements ofcritical pedagogy, which calls for learningenvironments that help learners become moreself-aware, take more control over their ownlearning, and achieve their personal goals.Technology can enable broader perspectives and ashift in the locus of power.
As Ts, we cannot create autonomy in learners, butwe can do our best to think about the technical,psychological, sociocultural, and political aspects oflearning (Oxford, 2003), and how CALL can be usedto enable and enhance a learning environmentconductive to autonomy.
Virtual environments (VEs) A VE is a computer-generated environment that stimulates or produces key aspects of external realities in which people communicate.
Text basedBy the late 1980s, simulation games werein a period of transition from text to multimedia VEs,which added graphical element to represent thesetting of the simulation, objects, and so on, thusimproving functional reality for participants.
QuickTime Virtual Reality (QTVR) Fish-eye Lens Support and HTML Virtual Tour - Autodesk Stitcher Unlimited http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcQFQRsUEvE This video demonstrates how to use Autodesk Stitcher Unlimited to create a full spherical interactive QTVR movie for the Web, using a set of fish-eye images.
Multiuser virtual environment and world (MVW) The MVW online creates reality of function by simulating the key aspects of external realities in which people communicate. Second Life (SL) is an online community that provides users with an immersive 3D environment. E.g., Versailles in Second Life! http://goo.gl/TMy12 SL is interesting for second language educators because it gives users the opportunity to interact as if they were immersed in an English-speaking environment. Online role-playing games (MMORPGs) http://www.mmorpg.com/
The designer-educator must have the technicalability to custom-design the environment.Having a persistent identity and access tosignificant features of online virtual worlds requiresa subscription fee.Busy educator rarely have enough time in designingsimulated environments.
As long as learners receive appropriate sensoryinput in parallel to the sound of speech or text,they will be able to learn new ways tocommunicate.
Do you have any learning experiences in virtualenvironments? If yes, what are the strengthensand weakness?
The following guidelines should help Ts in choosing the right blend:(1) Provide opportunities for collaboration.(2) Provide the learning content (e.g., syllabus, lessons) in all the different media types to be used (online and offline).(3) Provide learner support (e.g., how-to’s, guidelines).(4) Understand all the types of technologies that can deliver learning.(5) Provide feedback and opportunities for learner self-assessment.
Flexibility (Clark, 2003)Use free online learning environments (OLEs)outside the classroom, ubiquitous learning,e.g., Moodle, Yahoo! Groups.Teacher’s role:-- instructional design and the media mix.-- how best to combine the different means orlearning styles, including age, gender, culturaldifferences.
Technology-enhanced learning environments base on constructive learning theory (Severy & Dufy, 1995). Learning … is an active and engaged process. is a process of constructing knowledge. functions at a metacognitive level. involves social negotiation.
To support meaningful learning and to engageSs in active, constructive, intentional, authentic,and cooperative learning (Jonassen, Peck, &Wilson, 1999)
To examine the traditional and onlinecomponents available and the needed tools. Tasks: a paper report and a digital photo story The use of interactive technologies (e-mail, instant message, synchronous/asynchronous chat) is creating the range of learning outcomes achievable through learner support (Thorpe, 2003).
Peer-to-Peer Learning in Hybrid (Blended) Courses http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=so0y0rBgDIYHybrid (or blended) learning incorporates many of thesame teaching methods as traditional classroom learning.In this film, Thesys International provides a briefintroduction to how the Peer to Peer Learning Methodcan work in Hybrid Learning.
Cognitive: Materials and learning resourcessystematically delivered online through OLEs orweb pages can support and develop learning.Affective: Ss’ self-esteem ad commitment to thecourse by providing a supportive learningenvironment.Systemic: Ss find systematic and effectivemanagement and relay of information(e.g., syllabus, course requirements, tasks)easy to learn, use, and understand (Tait, 2000).
An effective activity provides learners the opportunity tochoose…. which strategy to use, which resources to use (e.g., readings, online videos), and how to carry out the tasks independently or in groups (e.g., organizing oral presentations, writing scripts, filming) Learner autonomy can be fostered if Ts are willing to give them freedom to exercise it, while Ts still offer sufficient guidance to make task completion possible (see Robb, 2006). E.g., a rubric that detailed what was expected and posted it to the class blog for easy reference (Yeh, 2005, 2006).
Using blogs and online word processors inresearch writingUsing digital videos and podcasting in speechtraining classVideo recording of Ss’ speeches can significantlyenhance post-performance feedback andprovide learners with the chance to reflect upontheir errors and progress (Tsutsui, 2004).
Suggestions for good practice of blendedlearning teachers, guest speakers, and Ss for an online Invite chat activity from professional organizations or online communities Use Greenwich Mean Time (GTM) as basis for time convention and send reminders Test software or hardware ahead of time Provide learner support and Web links outside of class Remind Ss to jot down user names and passwords Reserve the computer lab Only password-protected secure sites should be used
Blended activity can create optimal environmentthat increases Ss’ level of self-awareness andboosts their motivation.The application of multimedia and online toolsprovides Ss with resources for creating their ownpresentation materials, thus enhancing learnerautonomy and reflective, mindful involvement inauthentic tasks with authentic audiences.
Can you think of an activity of blended learningcomponents (see Table 27-1) and brainstormpossible technical problems.
New technology obviously needs thoughtfulintroduction into classrooms. Ts use technology tofacilitate teaching and Ss’ language learning, but becautious not to be driven by the technology.Learning autonomy rather than teacher controlStrengthen my belief in integrating technology inteaching even though there are some challenges anddifficulties.