R. Sandu

Hirosaki University (JAPAN)
The purpose of the present study is to: (1) explore effective ways of using Edmodo (an online educational learning network) in an EFL class, and (2) determine Japanese students' perceptions about it. Moreover, faults in the syllabus design and teacher's initial expectations are examined in contrast to the course actual outcome. Teacher's reflections and further suggestions for a better use of such an online tool are also discussed. The participants are 39 freshman students at Hirosaki University, Japan. The teacher has kept records of the expected and the actual outcomes of Edmodo's use, and students' opinions are collected through a questionnaire. The first part of the questionnaire is designed to gather answers to questions associated with a 5-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree to strongly agree, and the second part is designed as open-ended questions. The results show that Edmodo can be effectively used in various manners to enhance teaching and learning, given that both students and educators are well familiarized with all the possibilities such a tool has to offer. Students especially enjoyed the flexibility of this tool in terms of submitting assignments. Furthermore, the ability of immediately seeing the quizzes results was regarded as being truly helpful. Finally, the teacher's expectation of the students to be 'techies' proved wrong, as few still appeared to be uncomfortable with using Edmodo at the and of the 15 week course.
keywords: edmodo, efl, japan.