CASE STUDY 1: English for tourism (creating an app through the use of learningapps.org)
The process of creating this app, with the use of open (educational) resources (in this case learningapps.org) was tested with two lecturers and then they applied the resource they created to their own students in class. During the creation process lecturers were instructed on how to create their own teaching resources by guiding them using an operative tool. The lecturers found the operative tool really useful, intuitive and very user-friendly, “even though for someone that already has some knowledge of such tools one can do without it. It doesn't take too long to create the tool and, assuming what was done was correctly done, it can be reused and improved after having been tested”, according to one of them.
The lecturers highlighted the benefits of the operative tool as it allowed them to follow the instructions on how to create a new app more easily. The lecturers also emphasized the idea that the information in module 3 is very useful and has actually made them curious about its application in a classroom or online classroom context. One of the lecturers stated that it “shows a panoply of tools that might be used for different purposes and with different levels of expertise. It was also good to get to know about tools I didn't know of and that can give another input to classes”.
The other lecturer mentioned she was excited by the testimonies presented, for example, by Shannon Spasova, although she would have liked to have had access to a video/tutorial demonstration of the application of the proposed approaches. The learningapp.org. was also very useful. It was easy to access and use, and they liked the different possibilities of apps available.
Regarding the resource they created and applied through learningApps.com, one of the lecturers created an architecture-related crossword puzzle in learningapps for her English II tourism class. It was tested in class, used as an alternative exercise material, to reinforce activities related to vocabulary. The same activity was presented to the students after a previous work of identifying architectural traits and types as they are presented in their coursebook. There were 9
students (aged 19-20, B2
level) to carry out the task, and they did it in a group, in a collaborative and group-related approach. The students solved the challenge in a few minutes and showed enthusiasm during its execution. The tool proved to be very useful and didactically relevant regarding its opportunity to systematise the students' knowledge.
The other lecturer created the following resource https://learningapps.org/watch?v=pubfotdej22.
The app was used with 75
+ level. The activity was promoted to revise some of the contents taught so far and it was well accepted by students. It was used online, as classes took place online that week, and students thought the app was easy to use but commented on how "plain" it was. The majority of students said that they preferred Kahoot since it was more interactive, more competitive and it spiced the activity. They felt at ease sharing their results within the class and took notes about the most difficult questions.
The lecturers who tested this module and online resource became aware of the importance of improving their digital skills (the score they got in the entry test was 64/100 and 71/100 corresponding to the intermediate level. Overall, they found the module guidelines useful in making the process of creating digital resources easier and more effectively. However, one of them called the attention to the following possible drawbacks: “There are two points worth taking into account when we use it with older students: there is no competition (and they actually want it), there is no time limit given by the app. From this point of view I think the app/tool is not very dynamic. A last drawback for me is that there is no register of how students scored (if there is I admit I missed it)”.