TOOLS FOR STUDENT ENGAGEMENT ON BLENDED LEARNING LANGUAGE COURSES AT UNIVERSITY OF APPLIED SCIENCES
Kajaani University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
About this paper:
Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:In Finland universities of applied sciences offer entire study programmes for students with blended or distance learning approach. Especially adult students prefer blended learning studying since it allows them to combine their work, studies and family life; therefore the courses are designed to have contact teaching approximately once a month, otherwise the teaching and learning is implemented by ICT.
Language teaching utilizes websites and different virtual learning platforms which enable distance learning and individual studying as well as mobile learning not depending on time or place. However, in designing and implementing courses based on blended learning approach the teacher should pay special attention to student engagement since on a traditional contact teaching course students tend to finish their studies more compared to blended learning courses.
This article presents versatile tools, assignment types and best practices related to student engagement on blended learning language courses. The intention is to create meaningful, pedagogically motivated, all language competences covering blended learning courses, the emphasis being on promoting learning to offer positive and efficient learning experiences by engaging students.
Student engagement is achieved through positive self-assessment, guidance towards self-regulated learning, encouragement towards tolerant learning atmosphere, peer assignments, and partly self-paced as well as collaborative learning. Furthermore application such as Padlet, Blog, Kahoot, Voxopop and Shadow Puppet promote student engagement. Technological solutions offer a great deal, but teacher role is essential as a facilitator on balanced blended learning course.
Keywords: Blended learning, language teaching, student engagement.