As well as being used for discussions, this can be used as an opportunity to work on certain points discussed in class. The Discussion forum allows the teacher to give instructions, and students to reply. The teacher can edit the postings to provide feedback. Classmates can learn from each others' work, and can see many samples of the writing topic in use. For example, my students loved the idea of editing a Business letter after they learnt the 5Cs of writing a business letter. They could take a look at their classmates' work as well as my feedback.
Discussion Board Prompts
Using the discussion forum to have students practice their writing/grammar for particular functions. For example; commenting on a prompt posed by an instructor. Something as simple as "Tell me about your weekend" (simple past) or something more complex as writing a letter or response to a current event. Good practice for typing skills as well as writing.
Learners can use a discussion forum to reflect on their learning, as well as their past language learning experiences and future goals. Although the forum needs moderating by the instructor, it can represent valuable skill development through an increased understanding of appropriate language and etiquette for written exchanges.
Discussion Forum about Living Green
Towards the end of a unit on the environment, the teacher could post a question on the discussion forum asking the students to reflect upon what they've learned in the unit and post one change they could make to their lifestyles / daily living in order to "live green".
Discussion forums can be a good way for learners to express their points of view or offer suggestions on how to resolve certain issues or difficulties.
Once a topic or issue has been introduced and covered in class, the learners then participate in a forum to express their points of view and make comments about other posts. This can be a good way for the learners to practice language covered in class, such as giving opinions, commenting on opinions, offering suggestions.
Allow students more opportunities to practice their skills by adding teacher-selected external links to the page.
This webpage is a great resource for students to practice, on their own time, the grammar points they are having dificulty with. They can also access the page during computerlab.
UVic's ELC Study Zone is one of my favourite places to send students for grammar practice. The explanations are clear and the activities are helpful.http://web2.uvcs.uvic.ca/elc/studyzone/grammar.htm
extra practice for low level students
Adding pronunciation and phonics exercises would help low level students to practice vocabulary and reading
Filling out an application form online
For our field trip, I took my students to a shopping mall and they had to visit 3 shops and ask 1. If they are hiring? and 2. How to apply? My hopes was that students would get a hard copy of a job application form to look at. The results of the activity showed that all the stores in the mall required you to fill out an application online.
Next time I run the topic of employment, I will have my students download an application from an online source, fill it out, and email it to me. I think this would be good preparation for a real world task since it's apparent that most job applying happens online, as opposed to filling out hard copy application forms.
The closest thing I did this month was I had students download a resume (that I made up from scratch, attached below) from the coursepage and answer quesitons about it re: experience, address, job history etc. I thought that was a useful activity to get them used to what a resume looks like and what kind of information it requires.
Creating a SCORM activity with a video grammar lesson(s) and quizzes allows students to study grammar points for homework or in the computer lab. This enables the instructor to use (more of) class time for practice instead of presentation. For example, instructors could use an engVid or English with Jennifer grammar videos and create quizzes for them. Students study these videos and check their understanding by doing the quizzes. In class, the instructor can now spend less time on presentation and get students to do a task that requires the use of the present perfect. For example, students interview a partner and create timelines of their partners using the present perfect and the simple past.
Alternatively, the instructor could use forums to get students to create sentences using the present perfect. The instructor could provide questions as prompts. For example, he/she could ask the question, "How long have you lived in Canada?". Students would reply to this question in the forum. The instructor would be able be able to assess the students' understanding of the present perfect, and the students would be able to not only use the target language but also get to know their classmates better.
This is an example of a grammar instruction video from engVid.
Thanks for reading!