Using web 2.0 tools to meet students’ needs Web 2.0 for ESP Session (EVO 2008) Prepared by Hala Salih SUDAN
One of the important things I have been asking my self is when and how to introduce web 2.0 tools in the classroom. In one of the first live session this issue was raised. Should we introduce it as a tool or as technology? The obvious answer I reached by listening to discussion in that live session was that we should not throw web 2.0 tools at our student out of context. So I asked my self how can I introduce these tools in my class. As a beginner I just wanted to use the tools in simplest way I can mange .
I decided to introduce web2.0 tools in a very simple way which was to communicate with my students outside the classroom. So let’s look at my students’ profile. My students are postgraduates doing research in different specializations (Animal resources, renewable energy, diplomatic studies, and so on). The title of the course was Academic Skills. The duration of the course was 10 hours. Number of students per group 20-30.
<ul><li>Disadvantages </li></ul><ul><li>Students were working in different branches within the same field. </li></ul><ul><li>Different degrees( MSC/ PhDs) </li></ul><ul><li>Each was in a different stage , some collecting their data , some have written 3 chapters of their final thesis. </li></ul><ul><li>As researchers working in difficult economic conditions some were desperate. </li></ul><ul><li>In most cases they were not well supervised. </li></ul><ul><li>The duration of the course was too short. </li></ul><ul><li>No needs analysis was carried out before the start of the course. </li></ul><ul><li>No photocopying facilities available for handouts. </li></ul>
<ul><li>Advantages: </li></ul><ul><li>Most have access to computers and internet in the work place or at home. </li></ul><ul><li>All of the students are highly motivated. </li></ul><ul><li>To cater for their needs I gave them a list of all the academic skills and asked them to choose the skills they most needed for their research. There was general agreement on five topics to be covered during the face to face instruction but even so they were not satisfied. During the lecture each had a different question and simply time ran out. And they were at end of each lecture very much frustrated. </li></ul>
<ul><li>So I though for next group I will introduce three web 2.0 tools to communicate with my students and satisfy their different needs. </li></ul><ul><li>The first tool I introduced was a number of pages in my wiki containing all the syllabus with links to useful articles. </li></ul><ul><li>I created a space in SlideShare with power point presentations for lectures. </li></ul><ul><li>Left a space in my blog for them to post their comments and questions. </li></ul>