World Languages, Literatures, and Cultures

2001


Web-Based Materials Development for Computer-Assisted Language Learning

Liberal Arts
Jun Da
jda@mtsu.edu

In Summer 2001, I worked on the project to develop instructional materials for the graduate course in 'Instructional technology in foreign language education (CALL Number: FL 6800)'. The course is offered to graduate students in both the MAT program in the Department of Foreign Languages and the ESL (English as a Second Language) program in the School of Education.

The specific objectives of the project were set to:write up some introductory materials on theories and pedagogies in computer-assisted language learning (CALL); collect and develop tutorials on using FrontPage2000 and Dreamweaver; create a set of homework assignments in relation to both using technology in foreign language teaching and using the above mentioned two webpage authoring software; set up a Windows2000 server as an experimental workstation for students who take the course.

Current progress

At the end of Summer 2001, I have achieved the following: Introductory materials on CALL have been collected and sorted. Those include mostly of online papers and websites that offer either in-depth discussion of CALL or information on other online CALL resources.

Tutorials: Both a home-grown FrontPage2000 tutorial and Dreamweaver tutorial have been developed that can be used in my classroom instruction. At the same time, links to similar tutorials on the Internet have also been collected. However, both home-grown tutorials need further modifications because of recent upgrades in the language lab I manage: a) I only had access to Dreamweaver Version 3. when I worked on the tutorial. However, our language lab recently acquired Dreamweaver Version 4. I need to update it to reflect the changes that occurred in Dreamweaver Version 4; and b) my language lab acquired two new Dell servers. I need to update my FrontPage tutorial to reflect the specific server settings (such as account setup, database support and quiz engine configuration) in my lab (c.f., Point 4 below). Course homework assignment: I developed a set of homework assignments that can be used with my technical tutorial. Most assignments are open-ended questions that require student input. Again, the part of assignments related to Dreamweaver and FrontPage needs to be further modified. Microsoft Internet Information Server setup: An experimental Windows2000 server as well as Microsoft Internet Information Server was set up on my own workstation in the summer. It is fully functional with FrontPage extensions and database support. It also has an experimental quiz engine (from Microsoft) installed. It is planned that the same configuration will be applied to the two new Dell servers in my language lab so that students in the future can take full advantage of.

Some comments

At the beginning of the project, I had planned to use the materials in my teaching the technology course in Fall 2001. However, due to the rearrangement of graduate course offerings in my department, the technology course was rescheduled to be offered in Spring 2002. This gives me some extra time to further update and enhance the materials I have developed and&nbsp; put them on line in Spring 2002 for my teaching instead. <br> <br> A lesson learned while working on the project is that technology is always changing or improving. The minute you have something in place, it tends to become obsolete because of&nbsp; software upgrade and/or hardware improvement. Accordingly, an instructor engaged in teaching about technology needs to constant


1998


Design Review Modules and Chapter Quizzes using Winflash Educator

Liberal Arts
Nuria Novella
nnovella@mtsu.edu

Novella used Winflash Educator to design review modules and chapter quizzes for Spanish 111. Purposes for the project included creating self-study modules to assist students outside the classroom, provide a multimedia supplement to complement the text book, and to provide the instructor with more in-class time by allowing chapter quizzes to be administered in the Media Center for Language Acquisition(MCLA).

QUIZZES USING WINFLASHEDUCATOR

During the fall of 1998 1 designed self-study modules and quizzes in Spanish using Winflash Educator (an authoring program that enables one to design exercises in different question formats).I created six units with text, audio (digitized), picture (scanned) and video files (the director of the Media Center for Language Acquisition, Patrice Caux, edited the video files). Each unit follows the chapter progression of the text used in Spanish 111 (Poco a Poco by James M. Hendrikson), but is generic enough to use with any introductory text. The Winflash modules I created supplement existing exercises in the book and bring authentic materials (i.e. audio and video recordings by native speakers) and content to the Spanish 111 course. Each unit contains between 10-20 questions in different formats (i.e. fill in the blank, multiple choice) that cover culture, grammar, vocabulary, reading comprehension, listening comprehension and writing skills. [See enclosed copies of some of the units]. After creating the files I compiled them into standardized individual quizzes that students will be able to access individually at the MCLA, giving them the opportunity to further practice the grammar acquired in the classroom and to practice before exams. I saved the review modules on a CD-ROM, which is available to all Spanish students and instructors at the MCLA.I will be testing the exercises as a review exercise in my advanced Spanish classes during the Spring of 1999 and introducing them as part of my Spanish 111 class in the Fall of 1999.

I would like to thank the Office of Information Technology for giving me the opportunity to work on this project. I have acquired a lot of hands-on experience creating multi-media materials and I have earned a new appreciation for the time and effort that a technology project requires.