Tag Archives: IST

Interaction in Blended EFL Learning: Principles and Practice

Interaction in Blended EFL Learning:
Principles and Practice
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Mei-Ya Liang and Curtis J. Bonk
Taiwan / USA

Abstract

The trend of acquiring English as a foreign language (EFL) through blended learning (BL) has prompted teachers to develop strategic plans and directions for its onsite implementation and evaluation. This paper applies the concept of interaction to the challenge of creating a BL curriculum for an EFL class. General principles of interaction based on three dimensions of interaction—textual, social, and technological interaction—are presented and then applied specifically to EFL classes at a Taiwanese university by adopting the following practical steps: (1) setting course objectives; (2) formulating techniques and strategies; (3) selecting media and tools; (4) organizing activities and technologies; and (5) evaluating student learning. Students’ reactions to and comments on six BL curriculum units indicate that various combinations of BL based on level and dimension of interaction are well adapted to the specific university EFL class. Our findings suggest that the interaction-driven approach should be the focal point for future development and implementation of BL in EFL classes.

I’m crushed for time right now, but I’d like to look further into this. Blended learning seems such a natural mix, but like everything, we need to know what the best ways to design for this approach to teaching and learning.

A Science for e-Learning

Skinner’s Teaching Machine

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I’m actually surprised that this isn’t discussed more. An update of Skinner’s Programmed Instruction for the computer age. Lots of research showing the benefits of the programs.

However, the problem that was there years ago is still there. It’s labor intensive to prepare the content. Programming responses is not much of a problem. The technological side is not that difficult. However, at the level required for Programmed Instruction, content preparation takes forever.

Have I also mentioned that it is quite boring. Could the use of computers help with this? Possibly. But the reality is that people get sick of taking baby steps. They don’t like being led. They want to think. A system like this would likely be very effective for those who could finish it, but I’m going to guess that attrition would look worse that new health club members after the holidays.