DEVELOPMENT OF EFFECTIVE COURSE DESIGN INTEGRATING ACTIVE LEARNING AND ANALYSIS WITH NEAR-INFRARED SPECTROSCOPY FOR JAPANESE ENGINEERING STUDENTS
Ashikaga University (JAPAN)
About this paper:
Conference name: 15th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 7-9 November, 2022
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:According to the globalization and internationalization of the world economy, development of English communication skills is crucial for ESP (English for Specific Purposes) teaching in Japan. In particular, acquiring English communication skills is a pivotal need so as to develop global engineers who can work in the real-world environment and exchange ideas globally. This study presents an effective ESP course design adopting AL (Active Learning) and analysis with NIRS (Near-Infrared Spectroscopy) from a brain science and educational technology perspective to meet ESP Curriculum goals for Japanese engineering students and develop global engineers. In previous studies, needs analysis-based research and ATI (Aptitude-Treatment Interaction) based experiment using NIRS have been implemented integrating data from brain activities and the pedagogical concept and theoretical framework to verify an effective ESP course design. NIRS is widely recognized as a practical non-invasive optical technique to detect the hemoglobin density dynamics response during functional activation of the cerebral cortex. This experimental technique indicated the well-matched combination of English materials and training for EFL learners. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, AL had been introduced as in-person ESP classes based on the findings of previous studies, and obtained favorable outcomes. AL has a number of benefits for students, for instance, raising motivation, engaging in tasks and activities and, in higher order thinking skills such as synthesis, and evaluation, and avoiding passive listening. Recently, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AL was embedded into ESP classes using a virtual meeting platform. In this study, PBL (Project-Based Learning) ; a pedagogical approach encouraging learners to gain knowledge and skills through engaging tasks, has been adapted into online ESP classes as an AL strategy to improve communication skills. Offering opportunities for deeper learning in context and for the development of valuable skills tied to learners’ career readiness, instructors’ involvement, and support visiting each breakout room were essential. After two-year trial, learners' feedback gathered from the reflection papers were mainly positive. Significant improvements were also noted when comparing their task-based outcomes of first and second semesters. Accordingly, it can be said that continuously implementing an AL pedagogical framework into virtual ESP classes could result in effective outcomes and enhance and promote learners’ qualities as global engineers.
Keywords: Course design, curriculum, NIRS (Near-Infrared Spectroscopy), ESP (English for Specific Purposes), Active Learning(AL), Project-Based Learning (PBL), online.