PILOT A TECHNOLOGY TOOL. OUR TREAT.
SUBMITTING A PILOT PLAN
Flagship Programs are invited to submit a plan for piloting blended learning solutions between February and April 2019.
February 1: Deadline to submit plans online
February 7: Feedback to proposed plan
February through April: Pilot implementation
May 10: Summary report due
May 20: Presentation of pilot results at the Annual Meeting
Step 1: Decide on a tool to pilot
Check the tools featured in our Innovation Webcasts. In Spring 2019, the Tech Center is conducting two short webinars on two innovative tools: VEO (Online Video Tagging) and Fluent Forever (Flashcard app).
STEP 2: Propose a plan for your pilot
It’s super simple! Take a peek at the questions and examples below:
- Briefly explain the instructional challenge or problem that will be addressed
- Please briefly summarize the technology integration plan, including the following:
how the technology will be used to address the challenge or problem identified;
brief description of a sample learning activity that will integrate the selected technology (please include language learning goals, how the technology will be used, and instructions for learners).
- How will the technology be evaluated? Briefly describe your evaluation plan. (Please be aware that if you are reporting data that includes students who are not Flagship students, you will need to seek approval from your Institutional Research Board.)
- Blended learning potential. How will the technology selected help support blended learning? Please explain what changes you will make (if any) in instructional practices or curriculum to take full advantage of the blended learning mode. For example, will the amount of time spent on various instructional activities change? How will activities carried out as homework or in class be adjusted or modified?
Step 3: Submit Your Plan
If selected, the Tech Center will assist in the implementation by helping you with the logistics of setting up the pilot and the design of activities to test.
Example of a proposed learning activity
Instructional challenge/problem: Retell an event using reported speech.
Learning goals: Learners develop skills in attributing, summarizing, and recasting, which are essential to reported speech.
Technology integration plan: Extempore will be used. A language tutor will make a 30-second recording that explains what Person X did for the holidays. After listening to the story, learners will have 30 seconds to retell it.
Instructions to learners:
You will listen to a person describe a series of events. When the description ends, you will have 30 seconds to retell what the person said. Tell us where you got the information (who told you?), and then retell the events/story you heard. Include as much detail as possible. If you can’t remember exactly what was said, try to use your own words to convey the same meaning.
Example of an evaluation plan
We will report on the numbers of students who participate, their levels, etc. — basic statistics. Both teachers and students who participate in the pilot will be asked their perceptions: what they liked about these learning activities, what they think they gained from participating, and what they would like to see changed the next time around. We will report results in a simple summary format.
OTHER Blended Learning Initiatives
The Tech Center is engaged in the exploration of blended learning as a means to enhance language acquisition processes. Several Tech Center activities support this exploration, including a series of events informed by design thinking as well as activities geared toward field implementations of blended learning. The latter type of activity includes: 1) the creation of a language learning simulation designed for professional language practice and acquisition (Green Ideas); 2) the creation of a collection of tools in use in the Language Flagship (Tech Center Toolkit); 3) the design, development, and testing of materials to support micro-learning experiences (PERLS); and the creation of a common thematic repository of resources in use in current Language Flagship programs, named The Flagship Commons (currently under development).
So what does Blended Learning mean anyway?
We define blended learning as a student-centered approach that entails purposeful, appropriate, and sustainable integration of technology* which results in the creation of transformative learning experiences and optimizes the use of face-to-face and online environments. Blended learning requires the physical presence of both instructor and learner and offers some degree of learner control over time, place, path, or pace.
* Gruba, P., Cárdenas-Claros, M. S., Suvorov, R., & Rick, K. (2016). Blended language program evaluation. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.