Integrating media-based, digital solutions and MOOCs in University language programmes
The plethora of open educational resources (OER) available can be integrated into any course. When selecting OERs, teachers should consider:
1. the students’ specific needs
2. the students’ language proficiency level
3. the relevance of the content of the OER to the subject
4. which language and other soft skills the teacher/student would like to focus on
5. the allocation of time spent using the OER (either class or self-study time).
Technology has caused a paradigm shift, resulting in the teacher's role as ‘the guide on the side’ rather than the previous model of ‘the sage on the stage’. This means that there is now a greater need for learner autonomy, even for ‘digital natives’ who may require input on improving their digital literacy through smart searches to find appropriate topic specific information and sources, for example, accessing databases of when producing written work. Such skills can be incorporated in language programmes in any target language. Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) implies the use of a rich diversity of the target language input, authentic tasks in real-world environments that learners can relate to, and employment of a task-based approach, which makes learners much more productive.
OERs can be integrated at any and every stage of course design. As Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) cover entire syllabi and are therefore time-consuming, it is more likely that certain videos or activities could be used in class or allocated as self-study material to supplement the core syllabus. Bite-sized materials from Udemy, Future Learn and similar platforms that are easy for learners to digest can be used to maintain motivation. Links should be provided to the original MOOC material so as not to breach copyright. Links can easily be shared on whichever platforms the University officially supports, such as Moodle, MS Teams, Google Classroom, Zoom, etc. Core course materials, as well as supplementary OERs can be stored and shared on these platforms, which also provide provision for communication (student-student, as well as student-teacher patterns). Team/pair work can be organised through channels/breakout rooms, and student progress can be tracked through online assessment. Such tools can be used for courses taught entirely online, or through a blended model.
Examples of the integration of media-based, digital solutions and MOOCs are:
Telecollaboration to develop the language skills and intercultural competence of students in geographically distant locations through collaborative tasks and projects.
An integrated skills lesson using from TED.com: watch the video, take notes, share reactions, translate subtitles, etc., https://www.ted.com/participate/translate/get-started
Use the phrase bank of academic language in every speaking tasks, https://quill.pixel-online.org/gp_teachingSourcesForm.php?id_sch=69
Students could be allocated certain phrases they have to incorporate in their writing/class discussion (this could also be a competitive task to use as many phrases as possible appropriately to win). Further examples will be provided in the section below.
Giving Knowledge for Free: The Emergence of Open Educational Resources
The OECD (CERI) report addresses four main questions:
• How to develop sustainable cost/benefit models for OER initiatives;
• Identifying intellectual property rights issues linked to OER initiatives;
• Identifying the incentives and barriers for universities in delivering their materials to OER initiatives;
• How to improve access and usefulness for the users of OER initiatives.
Open Educational Resources for Language Education: Towards the development of an e-toolkit
This paper aims to provide an overview of all the core elements for creating, using, and sharing quality multilingual and interactive OERs for Language Education.
Opening up Education (A Support Framework for Higher Education Institutions)
This report goes beyond OER, MOOCs and open access to embrace 10 dimensions of open education.
A Basic Guide to Open Educational Resources (OER)
This Guide comprises three sections: 1. a quick introduction to Open Educational Resources (OER) and how to use them most effectively, 2. an analysis of these issues, 3. a set of appendices on specific areas of relevance to OER.
Helping Learners to Orient to the Inverted or Flipped Language Classroom: Mediation via Informational Video
The paper reviews inverted (‘flipped’) pedagogical models prevailing within language education. These models are particularly relevant for language learning, given that they promote learner agency and encourage the use of artifacts to mediate cognition.
Case Study of the Use of Video Material in an English Classroom
The paper presents an overview of benefits and shortfalls in employing video as a tool for teaching a language by also looking at some types of video material available for language instructors.
Going Open with LangOER
A step-by-step guidance on the selection of OERs for language-learning. Among the topics, the most relevant for this module is how to use and remix multiple sources. The handbook is supplemented with links to relevant textual and video resources and is concluded by a wrap-up quiz.
UNESCO Recommendation on Open Educational Resources
This is a fundamental official document laying out Areas of Action aimed at bringing together various stakeholders in the joint effort of developing and fostering the use of OER in open and inclusive societies.
The World Universities’ Response to COVID-19: remote online language teaching (ed. by Nebojša Radić, Аnastasia Atabekova, Maria Freddi, and Josef Schmied)
The resource shares a broad range of accounts on teaching and learning practices by several international universities confronted with language teaching during the COVID-19 pandemic, which posed the first global-scale challenge for maintaining the study process in the online mode.