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ERIC Number: EJ852506
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2004-May
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0958-3440
Supporting a Course in New Literacies and Skills for Linguists with a Virtual Learning Environment. Results from a Staff/Student Collaborative Action-Research Project at Coventry University
Orsini-Jones, Marina
ReCALL, v16 n1 p189-209 May 2004
This paper reports on the results of an action research project at Coventry University that consisted of the evaluation of a curriculum innovation supported by the use of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) WebCT, i.e. a new module (course): "Academic and Professional Skills for Language Learning". The project was carried out collaboratively by staff--all the linguists teaching level 1 modules in EFL, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish--and students over a period of ten months in 2002-2003. The module aims at engaging students actively with the new literacies and skills required by the "knowledge society". The provisional hypothesis was that skills-based teaching and learning activities that are aligned with the needs of language learners would raise confidence in academic and professional skills and increase motivation and proficiency in language learning. The use of the Virtual Learning Environment Web Communication Tools (WebCT), available within the online learning portal both on and off campus for students at Coventry University, would be instrumental in testing the hypothesis, as it provided an interactive reflective forum for both staff and students involved. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected. The paper will show how the use of the Virtual Learning Environment facilitated the creation of exercises that developed both ICT skills and language-specific ones. On a less positive note, the results confirmed the outcomes of other research in the field, i.e. that students find it challenging to become reflective, autonomous learners and that we cannot assume that the use of technology automatically leads to autonomy. Many students also found it challenging to see the relevance to their studies of skills and literacies that went beyond the four basic language skills. The paper will conclude by illustrating both the positive and the negative outcomes of the project and outlining the staff/student-agreed way forward in the light of the issues encountered.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom (Coventry)