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REFLESS Project - Get ready for languages
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REFLESS Project - Get ready for languages

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TEMPUS project "Reforming Foreign Language Studies in Serbia", Working visit to University of Southampton

TEMPUS project "Reforming Foreign Language Studies in Serbia", Working visit to University of Southampton

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  • 1. Bridging the Gap between School and University: ‘Get Ready for Languages’ Kirsten SöntgensInternational Blended Learning Conference 16th June 2011
  • 2. Overview of ‘Get Ready for Languages’● Context● Pre-arrival on-line learning tool● Design and delivery● Evaluating impact● After arrival● What next?
  • 3. Context: ‘Get Ready for Languages’● The ‘transition’ agenda and the perceived need for learner training/study skills for new students● Blended approach: Existing integrated course for first years● Funding and development of pre-arrival resources on Bb● Greater ‘perceived’ input in the light of increased fees??
  • 4. Bb: ‘Get Ready for Languages’ :● Intro to Undergraduate life and study of ML● Inform, motivate and reassure incoming ML students shortly before arrival● Interactive orientation resources: Talking heads of current/ex students, staff Academic and language skills activities 2nd year students as mentor
  • 5. Respondents and use of GRfL ● •Confirmed incoming 2010-2011 students were informed of GRfL: ○ –in an email from Admissions Office in late August 2010 ○ –on ML Induction website in September 2010 ● •Online survey (Survey Monkey) made available to Year 1 students Semester 1, Week 4 via Stages 1-4 Blackboards ● •Total responses (n) = 46 out of 173 ● •65.3% responded that they accessed GRfL on Blackboard and/or Facebook before coming to Southampton, with 10.9% accessing exclusively through Facebook ● •The majority of non-users quoted unawareness of GRfL’s existence as the main reason for not having accessed it ● •GRfL helped students get an idea of what to expect, and provided them with answers they had difficulty finding in other places
  • 6. eMentors● •Only four of the respondents reported contact with eMentors pre-arrival● •Three of these gave further information on their eMentoring experience, and described their mentors as ‘helpful’, ‘effective’, ‘kind’ and as giving good advice.● •Most other students did not see the point of such contact (17 students), or were not aware that this choice was open to them (11 students)
  • 7. Feedback and suggested improvements 1.Blackboard Facebook ● •Overall positive about choice of ● •Students did not think the content affordances of social networking and ● •Videos particularly well received timely updates were exploited well ● •‘Home’ page too information rich enough. ● •‘Social’ page was popular, but more ● •Not very informative, lacking in information sought purpose and seen as a signpost to ● •Degree option pages were very Blackboard popular, but also needed more ● •Students who did engage found it information ‘nice to meet other students before arriving in Southampton’
  • 8. Feedback and suggested improvements 2. ● Earlier access ● • More in-depth course outlines/module information/reading lists ● • More details about Modern Languages ● • More contact with existing students ● • Address expectations for independent study/how to close the gap from A levels to HE ● • Helpful hints for language study
  • 9. After arrival● The School of Humanities Induction website http://www. soton.ac.uk/humanitiesinduction/● Modern Languages Undergraduate Handbook● Induction week:tours and talksIntroduction to Study Skills for Language Learning● Integrated language skills course for first years● GerSoc: Buddy scheme
  • 10. The way forward ● •Improve access to GRfL blackboard ● •Exploit further the opportunities for dialogue (e.g. eMentors, Facebook, GerSoc’s buddy scheme) ● •Use GRfL blackboard at taster, open days etc. to increase visibility of languages at SouthamptonFor further information contact ks5@soton.ac.uk