Friday, 10 September 2010

Teacher Education Symposium

Mirjam Hauck welcomed us all to the symposium organised by the Teacher Education SIG.

Nicolas Guichon opened the symposium by a very relevant and important topic: how to give and receive feedback. He walked us through their ongoing research project in Lyon where they are using a video annotation system for student feedback and reflection. Central questions for the developmet of feedback practices: Timing of the feedback, explicitness of the feedback and frequency of the feedback. The context is a 45-hour training for becoming teachers in online teaching. The course is a joint course with students at Berkley. Without going into very much detail, the results and impressions at this stage indicate that this way of giving feedback to the students seems to work as it is not disruptive as it doesn't have to be given at a certain moment midst the flow of conversation and it is also more precise as it will point to an exact situation for the students to reflect upon. The annotation tool itself has two different elements/tools: interaction room, retrospection room. Links to the project and to Nicolas are:

Kristi Jauregi and Ton Koenraad presented the NIFLAR (Networked Interaction in Foreign Language Acquisition and Research) project which is a 3D virtual worlds environment for language learning/teacher education. The project itself is looking into the added value of WWC and virtual worlds for intercultural communicative and competence in L2. With a lightning speed Kristi presented the results from their study and my exhausted brain could get only so little of the whole that I hope that Kristi or Ton will build on this part in the comments... It seems that these kinds of learning activities do make the pre-service teachers to become more aware , reflective and critical of the pedagogical potential and problems of these tools.

Gary Motteram continued the flow with the Av alon project and talked about distance language education on the MUVE (Multi-user Virtual Environment). He addressed interesting learner issues in any distance course, such as isolation, expectations, community, cultures, expererience and identity. He also reminded us that online communities are not a new thing, what is new are the visual, spatial environments where these communities interact. The lenses through which they approach the development a community of practice for teachers: The domain, the community and the practice. The teachers appreciate the course very much and feedback has been extremely positive. An imporant point is also in that the CoP hasn't got a time limit, people can keep in touch and keep on working and talking, even after the formal part is over. For more information, go to:

Questions from the audience dealt with authenticity of the activities, differences in skills development with asynchronous vs. synchronous communication,

To be continued...

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