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brix the university of hawaii s framework for online language learning

BRIX The University of Hawaii’s Framework for Online Language Learning

John Standal • Stephen TschudiCollege of Languages, Linguistics & LiteratureUniversity of Hawai‘iPacific Rim Digital Library Alliance  Pacific Neighborhood Consortium Electronic Cultural Atlas InitiativeEast-West Center  November 3, 20052:00 p.m. Asia Room (2F)

fl distance education at uh
FL Distance Education at UH
  • Distance learning for foreign languages at UH since 1995 – initially Chinese on interactive TV
  • Web courses since 2000
  • Started with text-intensive advanced courses
  • Now supporting courses in:
requirements for sla
Requirements for SLA
  • Distance Education – on Web, various modes may work better than others
  • Needs of online learning system to support L2 (second language) learning activities
  • Not only input/output of characters, but
    • Vocabulary activities
    • Discussion board / Voice board
    • Draft Book
    • Online Dictionary
    • Assessment tools, etc.
  • Easy to build and maintain course
insufficiency of commercial software
Insufficiency of Commercial Software
  • Evaluated WebCT & Blackboard based on requirements of NFLRC development project
  • 8 areas did not meet L2 instructional needs
    • Language –target languages not fully supported
    • Discussion Board – no non member access to private group
    • Discussion Board – no (asynchronous) voice capability
    • Dictionary – no integrated online dictionary
insufficiency of commercial software1
Insufficiency of Commercial Software
  • Composition Activities –peer review, editing, rewriting of essays not supported
  • Reading Activities – no particular features for vocabulary, annotation, textual & audio pronunciation, etc
  • Exercise & Quiz – no self practice in Blackboard
  • Organization & Navigation –hierarchical menu grouping by lesson not fully supported
brix nflrc
BRIX & NFLRC
  • Instructional activities of online language course
  • NFLRC had developed hand crafted web-based language courses at high cost
  • BRIX – language course management – provided support for the pedagogical requirements of these courses

Figure 1

brix technical model

Action

Module

F

Display

Module

A

Query

Module

C

Fusebox

Content module

Content module

Quiz 1

Quiz 1

essay 1

essay 1

Forum 1

Forum 1

Display

Module

F

query

Module

B

Display

Module

D

vocab 2

vocab 2

BRIX Technical Model

BRIX Framework

FuseBox Methodology

DB

Quiz 1

Quiz 2

Course menu

Forum 1

clients

Forum 2

essay 1

essay 2

server

vocab 1

vocab 2

user page

Organizing contents

Creating contents

Building navigator

Dynamic html pages

building a course with brix
Building a Course With BRIX
  • Faculty designs and proposes course – “from brain to paper”
  • Language Learning Center approves course for support, IT specialist creates BRIX entity
  • Designer builds course, supported by Instructor in Tech for FL Education – “from paper to BRIX”
    • Elements using Language Activities
    • Elements contained on user-made Web pages
    • Course menu construction
vocabulary tool
Vocabulary tool
  • Co-construction of knowledgeà la Vygotsky means students should build knowledge together
  • Tool for everyone (including teacher) to contribute words in current lesson
  • Words are vetted by teacher, feedback & icons
  • Words subsequently available in a reference list in any Essay assignment in the same lesson

Sample: CHN399a Spring 2005 Lesson 2 Cuisine

voiceboard feature
Voiceboard feature
  • Experience says: Web not sufficient as sole tool for four-skills language instruction
  • Voice tool still desirable and necessary
  • Asynchronous voice tools not common three years ago – long process of selection
  • Home-built solution on Macromedia Flash Communication Server
  • Students are rapidly becoming accustomed to using Voice feature

Sample: CHN201 Spring 2005 Lesson 22 FollowUp1

essay tool collaborative learning
Essay tool: collaborative learning
  • Process writing stresses gradual emergence of product
  • Peer feedback often part of the picture
  • Essay tool links Draft Book and Essay Discussion Forum
  • Provides start-to-finish look at multiple drafts
  • Shows intervening discussion plus teacher feedback, private grading
essay tool collaborative learning1
Essay tool: collaborative learning

Essay Discussion Board

DRAFT BOOK

evaluation
Evaluation
  • Formative usability evaluations – previously published
  • Evaluation of authoring tools
    • Are course authors satisfied?
    • Survey
    • Easy to use overall; modularity of contents increases complexity of authoring course menu
  • Evaluation of instructional effectiveness
    • Do students increase desired activities in comparison to hand-crafted systems?
    • System logs and student surveys
    • Increased use of language bank, revisions of essay, participation in discussion
conclusions
Conclusions
  • Disciplinary areas may require specialized features in online learning environments
  • For example, language must be used communicatively for acquisition to take place
  • BRIX provides features required for language learning in an online course construction tool
further reading
Further reading
  • Fleming, S., Sawatpanit, M., and Suthers, D. (2004). “BRIX: Meeting the requirements for online second language learning.” Proceedings of the Thirty-Seventh Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, 2004; Waikoloa, Hawaii. p. 4 (full text on accompanying CD-ROM). Los Alamitos, CA: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
  • Fleming, S., Sawatpanit, M., and Suthers, D. (2003).“BRIX — Elements for Language Course Creation.” Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2003 World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications, June 23-28, 2003; Honolulu, Hawaii. p. 415-422. Norfolk, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). 2003.
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