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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Working with Literacy students, I see a lot of use in adding new links and using them. It always takes quite a lot of work for me to walk around the computer lab and assist students to type in the link to the activity we are about to do. I really enjoy adding all useful links to the course and students just follow them. Leave alone the fact that sometimes I forget some wonderful internet resources as we move from one topic to the other. So the idea of keeping them nicely organized in one place is very useful.
Listening to the news
I find that whatever I used to do with a tape recorder, I can do much better using a computer. Preparing a news item takes less time when you can insert a link to the website. You can create any type of exercise: answering questions, cloze, true/false, multiple choice, putting in the order in which something was heard, summarizing, etc. Depending on the length of the news story, this can be done with almost any level. When I used a tape recording in class, some students caught on quickly, but others could not grasp at the same speed. Therefore, in the computer lab, everyone can work at their own pace, stopping and repeating as often as they wish. This is great for multilevel classes, which I'm sure most of us have.
When I first introduced the LINC courseware in computer lab and assigned homework, about 2/3 of my class reported that they could not complete the homework because of trouble logging in or navigating the site (although the majority in the class report having a computer in their home many never use it). So for the following two computer classes, I would periodically instruct all students to log off after finishing an activity, and then log in again. This simple repetition and consequent familiarization with the process eliminated the frustration of not being able to access it at home, as they are all now experts in getting onto edulinc.org!
making it more visual
Use pictures as labels instead of words.
I ask students to choose 5 or 6 keywords ( for each theme) and make sentences to improve their writing skill.
managing a choice
Students at LINC 4 learn about Canadian Law and one fun review would be to add a link to the you tube video "10 dumbest criminals". After viewing this video, students would complete and submit their choices on a series of choices about the video. The choices would be: Who was the dumbest criminal? Who was the scariest? Which crime took the longest to plan? Which crime was the funniest?, etc.
In my ELT course for International Business Professionals, there is a unit on workplace writing. I sometimes have the learners send their partner an email requesting information about a product or service and the partner sends back a reply. In the past this has involved learners getting their partner's email address and signing into their email website. With the LearnIT2teach courseware (Moodle), they can send a message directly to their partner. As well, since there is a LCD projector in the computer lab/classroom, the emails can be shown to the entire class for comments and feedback.
Minimal Pairs practice with NanoGong
LINC 1-3 students receive a list of minimal pair words. After a practice lesson in class with the instructor or a pre-recorded audio list practice, the students need to record their own pronunciation. The instructor evaluates and indicate the sound groups the students need to work on.
Motivating some of my students to complete exercises and participate in forums proved difficult, so I started e-mailing them directly. I also put up a chart in the classroom showing which students had completed which assignments, and how well or not so well they had done. Response was generally much improved.
Having low level readers focus only on the first several exercises in a scorm activity helps build their vocabulary without being overwhelmed. It is also helpful to have volunteers in the lab to give one on one reading assistance as needed. When LINC 1 becomes available online I am hoping to import content as I use both LINC 1 and 2 for my class.