On January 20th 2023 the online multiplier event Opportunities and Challenges of Digital Solutions in Higher Education Language Courses took place in Bologna. As digital web conferencing have become more established in these last few years, the online event gave us the opportunity to reach more interested participants (181, their professional ranged from Higher Education Lecturer and Policy Maker to Post-Doc Researchers, Lecturers, Secondary School Teachers and Students).
The conference was opened by the Vice-Rector for Internationalization, Raffaella Campaner. For the opening part of the Multiplier Event two keynote speakers could be won. The second part of the event was then taken over by both the PI of the project, Elisabete Mendes Silva (Polytechnic Institute of Bragança) and the UniBo QuILL team. For the third part of the event (comments on the results and findings of the UniBo QuILL group with regard to their validity, reliability, and practicability) could be won as speakers Maria Giovanna Tassinari (Freie Universität Berlin), and Miriam Leibbrand (University of Leipzig).
In her contribution Eva Gredel addressed questions such as: Which corpus resources provide access to (multilingual) CMC data? How can they enhance digital literacy of teachers and learner? Which potentials and didactic scenarios of CMC corpora in foreign language didactics can be identified and developed? Lorenzo Angeli, on the other hand, described in his lecture the unique interpersonal dynamics typical of digitalized learning spaces; and exploring conflicting intents in the design of educational technologies and resources. Afterwards, the event was dedicated to the results of the Intellectuals Outputs 1, 2 & 3 of the Bologna team.
Elisabete Mendes Silva presented the project in general and then Anna Zingaro introduced with her speech not only the Unibo team, but also its three working languages and its members. Subsequently, she gave a very brief description of the contents produced by the team for each of the three IOs of the project. She made specifically reference to the challenges faced in the collection of the 60 OERs for the database (IO1) and to the topics dealt with in Module 2 of the training package (IO2) and in Chapter 6 of the publication (IO3). After that, Luisa Bavieri presented results from IO 1. As the extensive use of OERs in language learning and teaching raises important questions about their educational quality, her paper described how OER quality and its assessment was addressed in the Project and illustrated the technical and pedagogical criteria and indicators which were envisaged to select the resources. Sanna Martin discussed available OERs for less used languages such as Finnish and the challenges of languages not widely represented in the OER field. Marina Artese examined opportunities related to the use of digital technologies-based teaching resources in Higher Education language courses, and the integration of media-based, digital solutions in university language programmes. She presented examples of digital resources, such as websites, social media, and apps, that can increase LSP teaching effectiveness and attractiveness. Jürgen Ferner presented Operative Tool 3, a vademecum covering some important aspects of designing a digitally supported language course. Paola Polselli/Teresa Quarta presented a range of examples in different languages from the project’s database, and illustrated key aspects of language education using podcasts and discuss the specific operative tool proposed to improve lecturers’ and students’ spoken language awareness and competence.
This part was concluded by a short introduction of Sandro M. Moraldo, coordinator of the Bologna Team, to the IO 3, i.e. the publication Implementation of Digital Learning Opportunities in Higher Education. Guidelines for Good Practice.
In their final statements, Giovanna Tassinari and Miriam Leibbrand reached the conclusion that the Bologna QuILL team achieved its objectives both in terms of IO 1, as well as on IO 2. To recall some fundamental concepts, IO1 consists in the database of selected, reviewed, tested, assessed and validated e-learning based language teaching sources addressed to Higher education students for the learning of the 3 different European languages involved (i.e., German, Finnish, Italian). Intellectual Output 2 is a e-learning package focused on the identification and selection of quality digital language teaching sources, and how ICT based language teaching materials can be implemented and effectively be used in a classroom based and blended based environment and, above all, how to create new and customize digital technologies based teaching sources for language teaching sources.