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Sharing Language Instruction Across the UC System: How it works and why we need it

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An overview of the "DL for LCTLs" program of videoconferenced language classes being exchanged across the UC system, and a case for why it should be supported.

An overview of the "DL for LCTLs" program of videoconferenced language classes being exchanged across the UC system, and a case for why it should be supported.

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Sharing Language Instruction Across the UC System: How it works and why we need it Sharing Language Instruction Across the UC System: How it works and why we need it Presentation Transcript

  • Sharing Language Instruction Across the UC System: How it works and why we need it
    • UC 21st Century. Teaching, Learning and Technology: Past, present and future. June 21, 2008
    • Annelie Rugg
    • Interim Director and Instructional Technology Coordinator
    • UCLA Center for Digital Humanities
  • Highlights
    • Language instruction in the UC system
    • Overview of “Distance Learning for LCTLs” project
    • Why we need to share language instruction
    • Going forward: System-level support and coordination
  • The closing argument If we are looking to Improve Student Access to Courses on and across Campuses , this program democratizes student access to language instruction in a cost-effective and efficient way. BUT… To take this program off the endangered list, it needs UC System-wide sanction and support to match student demand with the supply of existing instruction.
  • Language instruction in the UC System We can all agree that …
    • Great research universities offer a wide variety of languages
    • The UC system distinguishes itself by the breadth of languages taught (diversity!)
    • Not all UC campuses will (or should) teach all these languages
    • Less Commonly Taught Languages (LCTLs) provide the breadth, and by definition have low enrollments. (The “thin part” of the Long Tail)
    • Building enrollment (= providing access to students) of LCTLs by teaching across campuses is in the interest of all the UCs
    • Berkeley - A
    • Davis - B
    • Irvine - C
    • Los Angeles - D
    • Merced - E
    • Riverside - F
    • San Diego - G
    • San Francisco - H
    • Santa Barbara - I
    • Santa Cruz - J
    Language instruction in the UC System UC System-wide offerings: A + B … + J (minus the overlap) = A LOT! 20th century Davis student can choose from B languages … 21st century Davis student can choose from ALL the UC languages!
  • Overview of the project: Distance Learning for LCTLs (Less Commonly Taught Languages)
  • Overview of the project: Distance Learning for LCTLs
  • Growth of the program: from 2 to 6 campuses Overview of the project: Distance Learning for LCTLs
    • Started in 2002-03: Danish from UCB to UCLA
    • 2005-06: 5 languages shared across campuses
    • 2006-07: 6 languages
    • 2007-08: 8 languages
    • At least 3 additional languages (involving 2 new campuses) could have been taught but don’t fit the focus of the centers that currently fund the project!
    • 2008-09 (projected): 6-7 languages (endangerment …)
  • The student experience Overview of the project: Distance Learning for LCTLs
    • UCI undergraduate completed 2 years (elem & adv) Finnish from UCB, then completed immersion program in Finland
    • UCI undergraduate, after completing Elementary Filipino from UCLA, awarded Fulbright-Hays Summer Advanced Filipino Abroad fellowship in 2007
    • UCSD mathematics student completed 1 year of Hungarian from UCLA, and was awarded NSF Central Europe Summer Research Institute Fellowship (only 10-15 such fellowships awarded annually)
    • At least 2 UCSB students, after completing 1 or 2 years of Czech from UCLA, motivated to pursue Czech-related graduate programs
  • The student experience Overview of the project: Distance Learning for LCTLs I'm excited about going to it every day and I feel so fortunate. By the way, I love the way people react when they find out how I'm taking the course. … This distance teaching thing is a blessing. It lets people take courses they want and really it is not any less effective than physically being in a class. It's great! … I recently applied for a summer language program in Finland sponsored by the government there … — Student in Beginning and Advanced Finnish (April 13, 2006) I found out a few days ago that I won a NSF CESRI fellowship to do research in mathematics in Budapest this summer ! I wanted to thank you for the enormous effort you have all put into arranging the distance learning classes in Hungarian with UCLA. Proficiency in Hungarian will be invaluable when I go to Budapest this summer. — Student in Beginning Hungarian (March 31, 2008)
  • The instructor experience Overview of the project: Distance Learning for LCTLs The main thing that I would say is that it enables us to provide Czech to a university that supports Czech studies in other ways (UCSB has one of the leading specialists in Czech music - …), but does not have the resources to offer Czech language courses. … As far as teaching, … It definitely restricts the use of visuals, which have to be large enough to be seen easily on the TV screen. I do more detailed handouts than I would otherwise. … Overall, it takes more advance planning than a regular course, but it's not a burden . … Managing the equipment is very easy for the instructor , … having Mel Strom help set things up and then available to help with enrollment issues, etc., has been essential. I wouldn't have started this at all if there weren't someone like him showing me how to make it work. — Czech instructor at UCLA (June 18, 2008)
    • Before teaching in DL: “too hard”, “too techie”, “have to change how I teach”
    • After teaching in DL: “it’s not a burden”, “managing the equipment is very easy”, “takes more advance planning” (but is this a bad change?)
  • What is the cost? Overview of the project: Distance Learning for LCTLs
    • Cost to the student: $0 (part of regular fees)
    • Cost of instructor: $0 (part of existing faculty)
    • Cost of classroom: $0 (part of infrastructure)
    • Cost of videoconferencing equipment: $0 (part of infrastructure)
    • Cost of classroom support: $0 (part of existing staff)
    • Cost of document delivery: $0 (use of existing LMS)
    • Cost of coordinating the program: 0.5 FTE of staff time
    • Cost of adding VC capability to meet added demand: Depends on how much access campuses want to provide
  • Why we need to share language instruction
  • Recognized value Why we need to share language instruction Minutes of the UC Regents Committee on Educational Policy March 15, 2006
  • Efficient use of existing technology and UC infrastructure
    • Simplicity of mode. Baseline VC technology in place at all campuses; fixed location or mobile carts; desktop VC; taps into LMS’s.
    • Pedagogical effectiveness. Proven instruction by proven instructors; maintains instructor-student and student-student interaction (e.g. pair work).
    • Enrollment infrastructure in place. Simultaneous enrollment means UC system regulations guarantee system-wide acceptance of credit and grades.
    • Student access to previously unavailable language courses.
    • Increases enrollments in LCTL courses. Therefore, less likely to be cut, which sustains the disciplinary diversity of the Great University.
    Why we need to share language instruction
  • Going forward: System-level support and coordination
  • Working as a system, we can:
    • Sanction the program as part of the UC landscape, rather than as an “outsider” (UCLA) program (which it never was!)
    • Get the word out! Include in course listings, online schedules
    • Unify around a common starting point for students and instructors interested in participating
    • Demystify the process of teaching and learning language in this mode (it’s not “hard” or “techie”)
    • Combine resources to grow existing VC infrastructure as student demand grows
    Going forward: System-level support and coordination
  • In review: The closing argument. “ Come together when we should” Going forward: System-level support and coordination If we are looking to Improve Student Access to Courses on and across Campuses , this program democratizes student access to language instruction in a cost-effective and efficient way. BUT… To take this program off the endangered list, it needs UC System-wide sanction and support to match student demand with the supply of existing instruction.
    • Special thanks for making the Distance Learning for LCTLs program possible:
    • Mel Strom, UCLA Distance Learning Coordinator
    • Olga Kagan, Director, UCLA Center for World Languages
    • Kathryn Paul, Associate Director, UCLA Center for World Languages
    • Tim Tangherlini, Chair, Scandinavian Section
    • Don Roby and Chris Dutton, UCLA Audio/Visual Services
  • Copyright UC Regents 2008. This work is the intellectual property of the authors. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that copying is by permission of the authors. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the authors.