LIT2T Leadership Guide

21 TO: TABLE OF CONTENTS 4.2.5 Safe, Collaborative Learning Environment The courseware is a private space for teaching and learning, not a public resource where outsiders can ‘intrude’. In this non-threatening and secure environment, there is potential for class collaboration in all courses. The courseware includes wikis, blogs, forums and polls. Collaborative activities are not as prevalent at lower benchmark levels, due to the low language proficiency of students. Wikis and blogs allow learners to practice their language, communication and teamwork skills. There are several types of forums that language training instructors can utilize for different tasks. Instructors can allow learners to rate or comment on each other’s posts. The courseware forums can be set up as private events, so learners can comment on an issue with the understanding that only the instructor will view it. Instructors can assign grades for individual forum postings or on the final forum thread. 4.2.6 Independent Learning Activities The SCORM activities within the courseware are self-correcting and self-pacing. Instructors facilitating a language class in the classroom, a lab or remotely will appreciate these features. The LMS stores more than the final grades. It also reports time on task, number of repetitions, and final or average grades for the exercise. By default, learners are not limited in terms of time on skill building activities. As well, most activities can be repeated. Learners can move at their own pace without concern for slowing down or pressuring their peers to rush through their tasks. All of these settings, such as the number of repetitions for an activity, can be modified by an instructor. Also, instructors can customize the report results for each activity. 4.2.7 Flexible Learning Opportunities The courseware provides activities to practice: Reading, Writing, Listening and Speaking. Listening and speaking experiences are now flexible in nature as the PoodLL app allows instructors and learners the ability to record and listen to audio. Instructors and learners can be the initiator or the target of audio prompts. This tool allows instructors to set up learner speaking activities for practice and assessment purposes. PoodLL training for instructors is included in Stages 2 and 3 as well as on the portal. This voice recording tool enables students and instructors to add voice recordings throughout the courseware, such as in discussion forum postings or in giving feedback. The courseware can accommodate a variety of learning preferences due to the enhanced media available in the learning objects and accessibility features available through contemporary computer operating systems. For example, the current operating system features include narrators, magnifiers, cursor and pointer magnification, speech recognition, high contrast themes, keyboard shortcuts, descriptive audio and Braille support. Learning objects include hyperlinks to relevant Internet resources, self-assessing activities, interactive learning events and embedded audio. Learning with these tools permits self-pacing through repetition, pausing and instant feedback. The courseware offers flexible delivery options which can be very helpful for instructors who experience continuous enrollment throughout the term. Instructors can refer learners to the courseware for important information and to past lessons when they arrive in a class already in session, benefitting both learners and instructors. In addition, learning objects and other course elements can be repeated or reviewed by all learners to ensure that their goals are accomplished.