Ideas for Applying the Edulinc Courseware (from Stage 2)
Ideas for using the courseware from Stage 2 participants. (Refer to the original "Ideas for Applying" glossary In Stage 2 to see who the contributor was.)
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Adding web links
Given that I am teaching a CLB 8 evening class, students need to be exposed to as many authentic listening materials as possible. I added quite a few videos for students to watch/listen to to improve their listening skills, such as ted talks, Dragon's Den and Dr. Phil Show. My favorite is ted talks because students can also check the transcript on that website.
For a telephone listening activity in LINC 5, students could record themselves cancelling a doctor's appointment.
Assessment through discussion task
For level 4 or 5 I used the discussion forum to exchange and comment on recipes. Students posted simple recipes with a photo and then students commented on each other's dishes and asked questions about ingredients, steps in the process etc. As an instructor, I assessed students on their presentation, grammar, ability to write clear steps, and give feedback to others. This activity really took off and elicited a lot of chat when we were able to meet face to face. It also provided an opportunity for formative assessment. I created an assessment sheet and also posted it to the discussion so students could see what they were being assessed on.
Authentic Oral Responses
This idea can be used at ANY level, the conditions/expectations change based on the features of communication in the CLB.
A listening/speaking task can be set up using MP3 files and NanoGong. The teacher records a question or statement as a prompt for the learner. The learner then responds appropriately using NanoGong.
This could be used for skill-using activities in various contexts, as well as an assessment activity.
Blogging can be used by learners to make their entries on a given topic, comment upon appropriately and add to the existing entries.
Blog about weekend activities
Blogging can be a good way for lower students to practice keyboarding, spelling, and sentence structure. I would like to have students blog about weekend activities, then have their classmates read the blogs and respond to them. This would create more interaction between students as well.
Having learnt to write different types of paragraphs, learners are asked to write a paragraph to describe a process. A class cookery book could be created by compiling their favourite recipes. Some of the learners in the class (CLB 6-7) that I teach have professional backgrounds for e.g. a software specialist wrote a paragraph giving instructions on how to set up skype, a dental hygienist –instructions on oral hygiene, an event planner on how to plan an event and a parent of a teenager who had done a lot of research on parenting wrote a paragraph on parenting teenagers and another learner –how to send a text message. Learners e-mailed their paragraphs to me, I compiled them titled “How To…..” and shared them with the learners. In future, a blog would be set up and learners would make their entries, classmates could comment on them and add their entries as well.
Blogs reflect students’ opinions and might be used as on-line journals. It will be easy for the instructor to see learners’ progress and the development of their writing skills if the blog posts are organised chronologically.
Students may also work together as a team on a project. The project will be changing and growing continuously. Blogs help to create supportive environment and to build a team. Students get a chance to see the problem from different perspectives, to exchange and clarify their ideas. Discussing various topics and expressing own opinions leads to deeper learning and understanding of the covered material.
I can see potential in using the blogs to help students track their progress with regards to learning to type or in applying grammar points studied in the week in weekly writing tasks, or if they already have typing skills, a daily or bi-weekly journal. These could be used as reflection tasks or writing tasks for PBLA. Teachers can also view this practice much more easily than if each student emails their work to the teacher and feedback can be provided directly for each task. If privacy became an issue, I supposes students could be shown how to hide posts after each task has received feedback, but I would encourage students not to do this as then there is the potential for students to learn from each others' mistakes as well making it a more collaborative class learning experience.
Blogs and Entrepreneurs
I'm teaching a group of newcomers who are planning on opening a business. I can see using Blogs as a way to share information and resources as my participants research and learn about the culture of doing business in Canada.