designing blended english language learning courses chris moore

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Designing Blended English Language Learning Courses

Chris Moore

Why? Ive run an English school delivering face-to-face courses. Ive run an online teaching operation. Ive tried to combine the 2 many times for business English, ESP and exam prep courses. My company has released 3 online Medical English courses this year, for nurses, healthcare workers and doctors. Most agree that the trend is towards online, but is the pedagogy any good? Can it replicate face-to-face, or will it always be the poor relation? This presentation looks at the best of face-to-face and online self-study, as well as the challenges facing both. It looks at how they can be combined in truly effective blended English language learning courses. This is a Medical English conference, so the examples and case studies will look at courses directly related to the concerns of delegates.

2Begin with the End in MindTo begin with the end in mind means to start with a clear understanding of your destination. It means to know where youre going so that you better understand where you are now so that the steps you take are always in the right direction. Steven Covey, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. What words do you need to express yourself?Describe the key scenarios you use English inWho do you use English with?What kind of texts do you read in English?What kind of writing do you do?What accents do you need to understand?

Plan Your Journey Tabas Model of Curriculum Processes

Diagnosis of needsFormulation of objectivesSelection of contentOrganisation of contentSelection of learning experiencesOrganisation of learning experiencesDetermination of what to evaluate and means to evaluateChecking for balance and sequence

Hilda Taba, 1902-1967Face-to-face Best Practice Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.John Dewey, 1859-1952

Give the pupils something to do, not something to learn; and the doing is of such a nature as to demand thinking; learning naturally results.John Dewey, 1859-1952Face-to-face Best PracticeStudents

Engaged learnersAnalysers ExperimentersCollaboratorsProblem solversDialogue buildersDebaters Teachers

PlannersLearning experience creators and organisersFacilitatorsListeners, elicitors Feedback giversClassroom managersExperts Face-to-face ESP Course ChallengesTimeLocationTechnical contentSpecificityCost


Rise of Informal LearningUnstructured, spontaneous, tangential, immediate, unpredictable, on-demand, mobile first, portable, anytime anywhere learning.Has this become the norm?

Were learning online all the time Google, Wikipedia, etc Rise of informal learning. We can learn a lot from these interactions. 8Here Comes Everybody Self-Study: plus a change,

plus c'est la mme chose?

11Key Challenge of..Anytime, anywhere, but is it any good?

Online Study Best PracticeCore Methodology Relevant FunRewardingVarietyMultimediaQuick, eg short reading textsInstant review & feedbackRecycle and re-contextualise content

And thenAdaptive Social/sharing/networking/PLNs/learning communitiesGamified In terms of lessons learned, it became apparent during the development process that good online design includes interactive elements on every screen the learner sees.

Whereas traditional book-based programmes can provide explanations and examples followed up by related exercises, online design precludes extended expository material and has very definite real estate limits.

Beagle & Davies, Blended Learning for the aviation industry: A case study, 2013So, best practice methods focus on creating a syllabus that draws learners back to it again and again. Get it right powerful learning experience

13So, Can the Twain Ever Meet?Face-to-faceCollaborative pairs, groupsSynchronousExtensive tasks eg TBLTeacher listens and feeds backTried and tested Fixed materialsNot portableFixed timesFixed location Online Self-studyWork alone - autonomyAsynchronousShort activitiesComputer says right/wrongBeing tried, being testedReiterated, updateable materialsPortableOn-demandAnywhere you have a connection

Oh East is East and West is West, And never the twain shall meet- Rudyard KiplingWhere the Twain MeetsBlended LearningWhat is Blended Learning? "combining Internet and digital media with established classroom forms that require the physical co-presence of teacher and students."

Why Blend? Increased accessIncreased flexibilityPersonalisableLocalisable ConvenienceVariety of input and contentTouch pointsUpdateable contentCost-effective

On-demandLearner autonomyExperiential learningResearch-based learningFlipped classroomLearner expectationsMarket reach, wider audienceNew forms of collaboration

How to Blend1. SupplementalFace-to-face classroom is primary component/driverOnline secondary, eg deepening knowledge, review/recontextualise, prepare for classroom interaction, personal study may be optional

2. ReplacementFlexible mix; classroom interaction for collaboration, group problem solving, teacher-student interactionOnline for extensive reading/video (inc lectures & webinars)/research, reflection, writing, preparation

3. Emporium Key learning space is physical/virtual learning resource centreOnline primary component/driver collaborative focus, learner-driven study, flexible learning; minimal f2f sessions to present, discuss, feedback Blended Learning Course Design for ESP Take a principled approach,not an eclectic one

How do f2d and online add value to each other?If they are not seen as complementary demotivatingCan be a mish mash, worst of both worlds18Blended Learning Design Some Questions Learner needs?Learning objectives?Content breakdown?Order of inputs?Lead delivery mode?Pedagogy?Time allocation? Session frequency and duration?Level of student autonomy?Compulsory vs optional?

Location?Interactional patterns?Role of teacher and students? Level of support for students using BL?Level of support for teachers using BL?Evaluating effectiveness?Tracking and reporting?Improving the course?

How do f2d and online add value to each other?If they are not seen as complementary demotivatingCan be a mish mash, worst of both worlds19Nursing English Case Study 1 Needs Analysis,Goal SettingAssessment& ReviewNursing English Case Study 2 Assessment& Review Bench-markPhase 1 Online CourseNeeds Analysis, Goal SettingTo Concludeeffective implementation of technology is not accomplished just as an add-on to existing tools, it must be synergised into the language learning environment with the support of surrounding educational systems

(Yang, SC (2001) Integrating computer-mediated tools into the language curriculum.Journal of Computer Assisted Learning 17: 92.) To continue the conversation Chris MooreSpecialist Language


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