Virtual Learning Environments, blended learning and the student experience A pilot study among beginners and post-beginners of Japanese on the Open Language Programme at London Metropolitan University<br />Nathalie TichelerLondon Metropolitan Universityn.email@example.com://www.londonmet.ac.uk/olphttp://ticheler.blogspot.com<br />
The Open Language Programme<br />Institution-Wide Language Programme<br />Arabic, English (business and general), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin Chinese and Spanish<br />1 module = 1 semester = 15 credits at undergraduate level<br />3 hours per week for 12 weeks, supplemented by self-study (Virtual Learning Environment “Weblearn” and specially-tailored materials)<br />Blended learning approach<br />
Background information <br />A focus on students’ experience and own reported accounts<br />34 student self-completion questionnaires21 beginners13 post-beginners<br />Subject descriptors Behavioural and attitudinal dataOpen and closed questions<br />Student learning logs Data from the VLE’s tracking function<br />67% use weblearn away from the university<br />52% of beginners and 77% of post-beginners spend less than one hour per week on weblearn<br />
“Weblearn is very good but I like to choose my own materials.”
“Weblearn is good but I prefer hard copies of materials.”
“I prefer to work with the book and my lecture notes.”
“I like weblearn but I tend to do more independent study.”
“Weblearn is interesting and fun. It makes me enjoy the course.”</li></li></ul><li>Recommendations<br /><ul><li>Take action to boost normalisation of VLEGive a demo as the first sessionUse in lesson time (show new contents, messages, upload materials to use during lessons, integrate with study skills)Update contents regularly (new materials, blogs etc...)Link the use of built-in communication tools to in-class activities, “homework” or assessmentMake use of the module home page on weblearnUse as a preferred channel of communication
EvaluationSeek regular feedback from colleagues and students...and make modifications as required
Training...and timeGive training opportunities to teaching staff, but also time to reflect and enough space to develop areas which best meet their perceived needs</li>
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