Blending Moodle for Language Learning

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A presentation for the first Moodle Majlis in the Middle East, held at Sultan Qaboos University in Oman on 18/10/08

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Blending Moodle for Language Learning

  1. 1. Blending Moodle for Language Learning Thinking differently about language learning
  2. 2. James Scully <ul><li>Presentation for </li></ul><ul><li>Moodle Majlis </li></ul><ul><li>18-21October 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Language Centre </li></ul><ul><li>Sultan Qaboos University </li></ul>
  3. 3. What is blended Learning? <ul><li>a combination of traditional classroom and out-of-classroom experiences with e-learning activities </li></ul><ul><ul><li>face-to-face education, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>access to paper resources (handbooks, texts) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>multimedia resources (video, audio) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>access to electronic information & resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>interactive / communicative </li></ul></ul>Garrison & Kanuka, 2004
  4. 4. Four Dimensions <ul><li>Modes of language use learner's linguistic activity </li></ul><ul><li>Context learner's context </li></ul><ul><li>Course function learner's materials </li></ul><ul><li>Locus of control learner's role </li></ul>
  5. 5. Using Language <ul><li>adopting a framework which does not break down language into individual skills but utilises the context. </li></ul><ul><li>look at the language </li></ul><ul><ul><li>in context </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>for what purpose? </li></ul></ul>Brecht & Walton, 1994 <ul><li>Interpersonal Mode </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretive Mode </li></ul><ul><li>Presentational Mode </li></ul>
  6. 6. The Modes Described <ul><li>In the Interpersonal Mode individuals have two-way interactions, perhaps face-to-face, on the telephone, in chat, text or email. This includes some parts of tutorials and peer to peer discussion. It also can be asynchronous in forums. </li></ul><ul><li>Interpretive Mode is much more associated with our context of English in an academic setting and involves mostly receptive activities such as listening, reading and viewing in order to understand in the appropriate instructions, topic, context and culture. </li></ul><ul><li>In Presentational Mode , very important in an academic context, we have the production of written or spoken language for communication to an audience where contact is not as “personal”. This could include essays, web sites, blogs, wikis, oral presentations, or podcasts. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Course Components <ul><li>The Complementary Component Course materials offered through e-learning as an alternate mode of delivery. </li></ul><ul><li>The Supplementary Component Additional materials and exercises to develop skills required by the course. </li></ul><ul><li>The Required Component Assessed elements of courses </li></ul><ul><li>The Communicative Component Day to day course communication </li></ul>Scully, 2006
  8. 8. Academic Context of Moodle Language Activity <ul><li>High Context Task Based Learning, Problem Based Learning, Case Based Learning A high context task will seem “real” to the language student and duplicate academic behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>Medium Context skill focus with some context Medium context tasks offer a simulation of academic behaviour in an ELT context. ELT specific activities are likely integrated with academic ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Low Context reductionist, language unit focus Low context tasks look like language learning, students “know” they are “doing” language, e.g. grammar exercises </li></ul>
  9. 9. Locus of Control Moore & Kearsley, 1996 Garrison & Anderson, 2003 Liu & Chen, 2007
  10. 10. Mode <ul><li>The Examples </li></ul>Credit Component and VLE used Task type Context
  11. 11. Interpersonal Mode <ul><li>Discussion Boards At SQU some English courses have a discussion board which is simply there for students to communicate in English. </li></ul><ul><li>Alternatively a topic can be used to elicit opinions. </li></ul>Supplementary in Moodle Personal communications High Context Credit:
  12. 12. Interpretive Mode Moodle activity structured like class exam. Supplementary in Moodle Practice quiz for exam. Credit: Tom Griep, LANC0600 Science, SQU Low Context
  13. 13. Presentation Mode Credit: English for Agriculture, SQU Complementary in Moodle Listen Note-taking task Use notes in class Medium Context
  14. 14. Interpretive/Presentational Mode The topic is pests. You can have a classroom discussion and add a choice activity to reach a class or course decision! Compulsory in Moodle Reading research, written description and assessment Credit: English for Agriculture at SQU Medium Context
  15. 15. Interpretive/Presentational Mode <ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In the News: A well blended activity </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Read news : RSS feed on Moodle or Internet search or newspapers. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Summarise one item. </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Present in Class </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Write and Post in forum or glossary </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>Compulsory in Moodle Reading research, written description, presentation and assessment Credit: English for Agriculture at SQU High Context
  16. 16. Presentational & Interpersonal <ul><li>Weblogs – blogs </li></ul><ul><li>Read useful/relevant blogs to raise interest (Links on VLE) </li></ul><ul><li>Explain/discuss/show blog genres (Links on VLE) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>P ersonal journal or work diary / social comment / current issue comments </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Familiarise self - create own blog (Link from VLE) </li></ul><ul><li>Familiarise students with the tools (e.g. lab go-through)‏ </li></ul><ul><li>Publish (Class creates links page – wiki?) </li></ul><ul><li>Updates, comments and replies (x weeks) </li></ul><ul><li>Sustain interest in writing – external comments </li></ul><ul><li>If you require a protected environment use the Moodle blog. However much of the attraction is that the blog can be seen by others. </li></ul>Supplementary through Moodle Reading research, regular writing and response High Context Credit: Dudeney & Hockley, 2007
  17. 17. Interpretive Mode Communicative in Moodle Written work on forum, automatic correction, listening & reading information with written exercise Credit: developed using idea by Mark Stevens (AUS). Medium Context
  18. 18. All Modes <ul><li>Podcasting </li></ul><ul><li>Listen to relevant podcasts (linked via VLE) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Podcast genres (classwork) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Introduce podcast subscription </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Possible Skills (usually collaborative) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Create scripts (use wikis/paper) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn and use recording software – on Moodle! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upload (As assignment/posting) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Use RSS to notify class </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Download others’ podcasts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Comment/evaluate/review </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Class podcast links on VLE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Start regular podcast? </li></ul></ul>Supplementary via VLE Listening and reading research, writing, speech and response High Context Credit: generic task
  19. 19. All Modes <ul><ul><li>Project Management </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Written Instructions for an engineering design project (assignment posting). </li></ul><ul><ul><li>E.g. Design a system to deliver ping-pong ball to location. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Work as a team to research the problem. </li></ul><ul><li>Team designs and builds delivery system. </li></ul><ul><li>Use phone/camera to video solution with commentary. </li></ul><ul><li>Post solution video on VLE. </li></ul><ul><li>Submit written (online/offline) report. </li></ul>Compulsory partly in VLE Soft-copy instructions leading to project work, video and written report Credit: developed by Bill Huguelet (SQU). High Context
  20. 20. All Modes Compulsory partly in Moodle Wiki task scheduling, in-class presentation forum posting for review Credit: English for Agriculture (SQU). High Context
  21. 21. Further Short Examples <ul><li>From an idea by Alicia Cundell (Qatar) Stimulus material on VLE, work submitted via VLE Video w/o sound  Ss write dialogue  Ss perform dialogue audio of movie only  describe scene  compare original </li></ul><ul><li>Newscast Read and listen to topic information  Items for previewing on VLE  Class on news  Ss script news item  record podcast  submit to VLE/Podcast site </li></ul>
  22. 22. The Blending Role of Moodle <ul><li>Integration of activities </li></ul><ul><li>Continuation of contact and communication out of class </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing use of English in otherwise limited environment </li></ul><ul><li>Offering alternative/additional delivery styles </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing student-centredness and autonomy </li></ul><ul><li>Introducing 21st. Century learning tools </li></ul>
  23. 23. Thanks <ul><li>My LC colleagues for support </li></ul><ul><li>You for listening </li></ul><ul><li>Virtually just the beginning! </li></ul>

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