THE INTEGRATION OF AI AND VIRTUAL LEARNING IN TEACHING EFL UNDER COVID-19
Aoyama Gakuin University (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 13th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 9-10 November, 2020
Location: Online Conference
Abstract:AI will be invisibly embedded everywhere in which decisions are made (Wooldridge, 2018). AI/mobile technologies have succeeded in transforming learning methodologies. One such method adopted successfully in recent years is blended learning (BL) (Obari & Lambacher, 2014). Nowadays, due to Covid-19, students have been engaged in virtual learning through integration of the videoconferencing software program Zoom for all classes since 2020 April. This presentation will focus on the integration of blended learning along with 21st-century skills, including AI, PeerEval, and virtual zoom meeting with other online materials.
Technologies used by students included Google Home mini, PeerEval, ATR CALL Brix, Facebook, Line, and VR, and Zoom. This presentation focuses on the use of emerging technologies such as smart speakers and smartphone applications in the improvement of English language skills. How students feel about virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI), and how VR and AI might be utilized by Japanese higher education to improve English in the future. Recently from April 2020 to the present, zoom virtual meetings have been held for all courses this academic semester. The first case study is an empirical investigation carried out from April 2019 to January 2020, targeting 59 undergraduates majoring in economics. Participants were required to study their favourite English language programs using AI speakers during the eight-month period. They wrote a diary, and filmed their learning using a smartphone. During classroom instruction, student presentations were carried out and assessed with mobile devices using the evaluation software PeerEval. The students who used AI speakers during the training period performed better on TOEIC than the non-users who instead used online materials outside of the classroom. The second case study, carried out until now using Zoom, is targets 60 first-year students during the period from April 2020 to July 2020. In this study, the students have been virtually engaged in learning English through worldviews and AI. This is the ongoing research project using virtual online teaching 100% of the time. These two case studies suggest that integrating blended learning along with 21st-century skills, including AI, VR, and PeerEval, as well as hybrid learning with Zoom virtual classroom teaching, may be an effective means by which to improve the English proficiency of native Japanese students. The second case study utilizing virtual learning with Zoom will be summarized by the end of August and presented in more detail.
Keywords: AI Speaker, Flipped Learning, PeerEval, Worldviews, Zoom online teaching, TOEIC.