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International MA Student Reactions to Blended Learning Delivery of ‘EAP Course Design & Materials Development’. Aims of blended learning delivery Description of facilities First reactions to e-learning What worked & what didn’t? Evaluation of delivery mode Coping with the consequences

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International MA Student Reactions to Blended Learning Delivery of ‘EAP Course Design & Materials Development’

Aims of blended learning delivery

Description of facilities

First reactions to e-learning

What worked & what didn’t?

Evaluation of delivery mode

Coping with the consequences

Angie Phillip, February 2004

aims of blended learning delivery for students on course design module
Aims of Blended Learning Delivery forStudents on Course Design module
  • Make e-resources (both online and local) available to support both on and off-line course design
  • Facilitate collaborative learning
  • Encourage reflection - provide experience as well as theory in order for students to evaluate the delivery mode.

Students Grp 1 - 7 students: 4 females, 3 males from a range of countries

Students Grp 2 - 6 students: 1 female, 5 males from a range of countries

3 first reactions to e learning
3. First reactions to e-learning

Although students saw some advantages, they all expressed doubts. It did not

matter whether the students were web-skilled with some experience of using the net

for teaching, or whether they were novices.

For example:

  • ‘…most of my students are fed up our traditional teaching delivery. They like us teachers to bring them something new and interesting, especially when they begin to be attracted to computers….’ [but]
  • ‘..to prepare a computer assisted teaching plan will cost me four times more than to prepare a chalk + blackboard teaching plan though I am familiar with the software’..
  • ‘..to be honest…. I … doubted the effectiveness of the lesson’

&

  • ‘I use computers a lot, I have not yet come to a conclusion whether learning should not take place in the classrooms but in front of emotionless computers. It might save a lot of time and energy but I am not persuaded whether it is the right choice.’
4 what worked
YES ()

Resources

Word readability tools

Simple graphics – cut & paste from net

Multilingual dictionaries

Online E-Learning help

Course notes

Netscape Composer

Collaborative Learning

Discussion area excellentl

Reflection on Blended Learning Experience

Enthusiastic response

NO (X)

Resources

Word Track changes – no time & different versions of Word

English-English dictionaries

Collaborative Learning

No use of student homepages or file-sharing (criticism of course design not students)

4. What worked?
5 evaluation of delivery mode
5. Evaluation of delivery mode

Methods: webCT discussion board & paper questionnaire

  • Usfulness of WebCT Course Unanimous agreement on its usefulness e.g. ‘WebCT offers us a space where we can share opinions and information;’ ‘WebCt is a family talk, I enjjoe it so much, I don’t worry about making mistakes. I enjoy the freedom of studying and exchanging.’ & ‘I learn about self…’
  • Workload All agreed that the workload was too great e.g. ‘It is big but it has to be..’ & ‘Sometimes we were faced with piles of articles.’
  • Best thing about the course Typical of both groups: ‘extremely useful and practical,…peer reading, checking each others’ work, new ideas, making us think and argue, give us time to express our opinion, teacher listening to us.
  • Worst thing & suggestions for improvement Generally agreed: ‘too much homework for the course’
  • Any other comments Extremely positive e.g. ‘it opens a new face of learning.’
6 coping with the consequences
Consequences

Time taken during course to explore new activities;

Students read more articles than usual because of availability

Coverage of both technical skills & course content took time that was not allocated

Assignment time – longer than anticipated

New transferable skill to find academic articles on net – much appreciated

Ongoing learning of web-design by most students both for materials and personal use because it was found to be enjoyable & satisfying

Questions raised

During the course re: online course design: how can the time be found to provide technical skills as well as content?

After the course: how can time be found to give students skills & tools to use virtual environments for their own students back in their own place? Is it appropriate to do this in a conventional MA Applied Linguistics course?

Many students became ‘addicted’ to developing their skills in online course design with the result that assignments for other courses were relatively neglected. How can we prevent this happening?

6. Coping with the Consequences
list of urls used as online resources
List of urls used as online resources
  • Cambridge Dictionaries Online – http://dictionary.cambridge.org/
  • Free Translator - http://www.free-translator.com/
  • E-Learning & Online Course Development

http://www.englishstudydirect.com/OSAC/weblessonsmenu.htm

  • Language Learning & Technology - http://llt.msu.edu/
  • A useful article: Meskill et al 2002 Expert and Novice Teachers Talking Technology: Precepts, Concepts and MisconceptsLanguage Learning & Technology Vol 6 no 3 pp 46-57

MA Reactions to Blended Learning – Angie Phillip, February 2004