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Friday, March 22

  1. page home edited ... Welcome! This wiki provides resources to English teachers working on the LCTL Trinity Diploma…
    ...
    Welcome!
    This wiki provides resources to English teachers working on the LCTL Trinity Diploma TESOL, but will also be helpful for Cambridge DELTA candidates. Read more about this wiki...
    Rationale
    For more information about the thinking behind this site, please go to the Rationale.

    Resources:
    Phonology
    (view changes)
    4:46 am
  2. page Rationale edited The chart below summarizes Introduction While completing my comparison TESOL Diploma, I came …
    The chart below summarizesIntroduction
    While completing
    my comparisonTESOL Diploma, I came to reflect upon my own learning strategies that had helped me to pass the course. These reflections led to the creation of a blog aimed at Diploma candidates offering practical advice and tips.[1] One strategy was experimenting with a variety of ICT resources to substitute for my lack of access to an ELT library and an in-person peer group to discuss with and consult at length, as I was taking a blended course. Blended Diploma courses, in which candidates interact with each other, the tutors, and learning materials via online platforms during most of the course, are becoming more common than completely in-person courses. The success of the blog gave me the idea of creating a website with learning resources for Diploma candidates.
    Purpose of the site
    This website is intended to provide practical, interactive ICT learning resources to Diploma candidates. They are interactive in the sense that they require you to act on them, test your knowledge and receive feedback. The site is also a place for you to exchange ideas about topics such as phonology and the use of the Internet to teach English.
    Resource 1: British English Phonemes Flashcards
    Unit 3 of the Trinity Diploma TESOL, the Phonology Interview, is a particularly daunting one for many candidates. It is essentially an oral exam including a phonological transcription and discussion of phonological issues drawn from a broad range of topics. To complete the transcription and enter into a meaningful discussion, candidates must first master a complex and specialized body of knowledge, including some basic anatomy, phonological theory and the 44 British English phonemic symbols. Mastery of this knowledge can only be achieved with considerable independent study and memorization. My experience was that this type of study is easily supported by ICT resources, thus my idea of creating the web-based Phonemes flashcards, which can be used on both mobile devices and stationary computers.
    Resource 2: Essay-writing tutorial
    The choice of an essay-writing tutorial as my other interactive resource was influenced in part by a request from one of my blog readers. The written exam gives you approximately one hour each to answer two essay questions on a wide range of topics. Essays must demonstrate awareness of current thinking in ELT; to do this, candidates are encouraged to use quotations from background reading. Preparation involves developing speed in formulating essay answers and recalling salient points from the literature to back up one’s own ideas.
    Development and design of the site
    There are a number of online hosts that provide free websites, wikis and blogs that I could have chosen for this website, such as
    Google sitesSites, Blogger, PBworks (formerly PBwiki), or Wikispaces. Having worked with each of these platforms at different times, I knew that they were all designed to allow users with minimal knowledge of website design to create, upload and Wikispaces accordingorganize content easily and quickly. In deciding which to use, my over-arching criteria was ease of use both for the creator and for users. I also had three criteria.
    Site
    specific criteria based on the resources I intended to create:
    Easy site
    navigation
    Embedding

    Ability to embed
    widgets
    Discussion

    Ability to create interactive discussion
    forums
    Google sites
    Involves many steps,

    Site nagivation
    Working with a Google website, I found organizing the navigation sidebar difficult and time-consuming. By default, a new page added to the site does not appear in the navigation sidebar; the user must remember to go through several extra steps to avoid having the new page hidden from view once she navigates away from it. In Wikispaces, however, a new wiki page automatically shows up on the navigation bar and
    can easily be confusing
    Does not
    tagged and organized under tag headings later. Modifying site navigation is far easier in Wikispaces, as an edit navigation option is always visible under the navigation bar.
    Ability to
    embed many widgets; easyweb widgets**[2]**
    As mentioned previously, interactive learning resources created using different web-based tools are an essential feature of the site. Each interactive resource is introduced with learning aims and suggestions for use. Next, a web widget allows you
    to do interactive exercises created with off-site web tools without leaving the website. Having my introductions and the interactive activities all on the same page gives you a far easier experience than having to open additional websites to make use of learning resources.
    Both widgets I needed, Quizlet and Survey Monkey, were easily embeddable on my Wikispaces wiki, but only the Quizlet widget was allowed on my Google site. It is interesting to note that Google Sites prominently display a host of Google gadgets[3] by making them embeddable with just one mouse click from the
    embed menu. Some non-Google widgets can be embedded, but only through a longer and less intuitive process.
    Ability to create interactive discussion forums
    While each wiki page in Wikispaces includes a discussion forum feature, only registered users can comment.
    Google gadgets
    Comments
    Sites also does not allow comments from non-registered users. My solution was simply to create a wiki page setting out discussion questions and inviting site visitors to use the edit button to enter their contributions and feedback. (See Appendix A for a screenshot of user feedback)
    What about the EDIT button?
    Even though
    non-registered users are not allowed
    Wikispaces
    fewer steps, clearer process
    Easy
    to embed most widgets
    Discussion
    post to discussion forums built into pages;on Wikispaces pages, any user can edit the wiki. This presents a danger that the any or all of my content could disappear at any time. However, each page has a view revisions function, which logs changes made to the wiki and allows previous versions to be viewed and restored. Therefore I found that the ability to allow anonymous users to participate easily in discussion forums outweighed the risk that the edit button could be used disruptively.
    Implementing the site with learners
    Although the site is linked to my blog, whose readers are potential users, it is not part of any regular course. It
    only registeredoffers optional activities to anonymous users. As I have no way of contacting users, I remain disconnected from them. A few candidates who I was in touch with briefly used the site and gave me positive feedback via email. Apart from this, I have had very little response.
    Critical reflections and Conclusions
    There is very little content on the website and the focus of the resources is on rote learning to a large degree. Lower-order learning was never intended to be an end in itself, but a step along the way toward informed analysis of teaching practice, synthesizing solutions to teaching puzzles and creating new approaches. To extend learning beyond memorization, the discussion forums on this site offer questions to help stimulate analysis as well as space to exchange ideas with other users.
    The discussion forums have not been used, however. The website is very content-centered and not learner-centered. The phonological and essay-writing content is presented in a somewhat authoritative manner. Users are encouraged to interact with the resources in an isolated manner. Nothing on the site reflects the site visitors, except possibly, the discussion forums. In the absence of human faces and voices, without any evidence of a community of learners, it is not surprising that the discussion forums are empty.
    If I were to do this project again, I would record screencasts introducing each main feature, giving the website a more human element.
    I also could have worked more closely with Diploma course providers and surveyed a larger group of target
    users can post
    to determine exactly what kind of supplementary resources they needed. Cooperating with course providers may have resulted in having a link to my wiki on their course website, which in turn could have brought more feedback from users.
    [1] Gorman, T. Walsh, P. and Deane, F. So you want to pass the TESOL Diploma?
    [2] Web widgets appear as small windows from other websites and “work like mini-applications that provide games, search boxes or information to visitors on a website.” Embedding them to one’s own website involves “copying and pasting a snippet of code to display the widget, which is hosted on the developer's server.” (Source: Beal, Vangie. All about Widgets. Webopedia. Accessed: 15/3/2013.)
    [3]Gadgets are proprietary widgets designed to work only on certain websites.

    (view changes)
    4:44 am
  3. page Rationale edited The chart below summarizes my comparison of Google sites and Wikispaces according to my three crit…
    The chart below summarizes my comparison of Google sites and Wikispaces according to my three criteria.
    Site navigation
    Embedding widgets
    Discussion forums
    Google sites
    Involves many steps, can be confusing
    Does not embed many widgets; easy to embed Google gadgets
    Comments from non-registered users not allowed
    Wikispaces
    fewer steps, clearer process
    Easy to embed most widgets
    Discussion forums built into pages; only registered users can post

    (view changes)
    2:42 am
  4. page Rationale edited Introduction A snappy quotation? Frame the topic/issues Purpose of the site and target users Fo…
    Introduction
    A snappy quotation? Frame the topic/issues
    Purpose of the site and target users
    For the past several months, I have collaborated on a blog that offers advice on passing the Trinity Diploma TESOL based on personal experience. In contrast, this wiki is intended to provide practical ICT learning resources to Diploma candidates. I wanted the learning resources here to be as interactive as possible in the sense that they engage the user in learning activities and give feedback on users' work. The learning resources here were originally focused on the areas of the diploma that required rote learning, such as the phonemic chart and quotations for exam essays. If my resources could make it faster and easier for candidates to learn what they have to know by heart for the exam, they would have more time to spend on the higher-order thinking such as the analysis, synthesis and evaluation involved in the action research projects and developing their classroom practice. (1) But I realized that lower-order learning such as memorizing quotations was never intended by Trinity to be an end in itself, but a step along the way toward informed analysis of teaching practice, synthesizing solutions to problems and evaluating new approaches.To extend learning beyond memorization, the discussion forums on this site offer questions to help stimulate analysis as well as space to exchange ideas with other users.
    Relationship between ICT resources and learner autonomy
    Many Diploma courses are blended, meaning that candidates interact with each other, the tutors, the learning materials and assignments at a distance, via online platforms, during most of the course. During the distance phase of my diploma course, I began to experiment with a variety of ICT resources to substitute for the lack of an ELT library and an in-person group of other candidates and tutors to discuss with and consult. This experimentation process was for me a step in the direction of greater autonomy as a learner. (How?) Was it the act of searching for and using learning resources for my own purposes that pushed me toward greater autonomy, or was there something about the ICT resources themselves ? Is there something about HOTS here too? Are HOTS related to LA? How? Would this be something useful to ask users to reflect on?
    Why this platform?
    There are a number of online hosts that provide free websites, wikis and blogs that I could have chosen for this website, such as Google sites, blogger, or pbwiki, as well as wikispaces, the platform for this site.
    My criteria for deciding which to use were as follows:
    Easy for me to work with
    I created a Google site during the in-person phase of my Technology-Assisted Language Learning course and learned how to make learning activities based on uploaded images and video, add content in other formats and use site navigation settings. With guidance these tasks were easy, but working independently I have needed and consulted Google help several times and found it only minimally helpful. Through this process, I felt that I wasted time with Google sites that could have been used more productively with a simpler platform. So when it came time to quickly and independently produce a website that I knew would actually be used by learners, I found the Wikispaces wiki much simpler to build, as there are fewer design and navigation options to choose from than in Google sites.
    One area in which Wikispaces is easier to use is site navigation. I have found organizing the navigation sidebar on my Google site difficult and time-consuming. When creating a new page on a Google site, there are 2 separate steps to go through at different times, in different places when deciding where the new page will be placed in relation to other pages and in the hierarchy on the navigation sidebar. Firstly, when creating the page, you are prompted to select the location by choosing either:
    -put page at the top level
    -put page under Home
    -choose another location
    After these settings are saved, the new page is ready to be edited. The second step becomes possible after saving the new page. Only then will the more options menu be visible, where the page settings item must be selected to bring up a box in which Show this page in the sidebar must be ticked. So in Google sites, by default a new page does not appear in the navigation sidebar; the website creator must remember to go through several extra steps to avoid having a new page hidden from view once he or she navigates away from it.
    New pages created in Wikispaces automatically show up on the navigation bar and can easily be tagged and placed under tag headings later. Moreover, I find modifying the site navigation far easier in Wikispaces than in Google sites, as an edit navigation option is always visible under the navigation bar. It took me 5 minutes to read the Wikispaces help page on editing navigation and organize my navigation sidebar logically.
    ability to embed widgets
    So far, the content of my website consists of two interactive learning resources
    Though I could embed Quizlet flashcards onto my Google site, I could not embed my Survey Monkey activity after reading the Google help on embedding, the Survey Monkey help, and spending a long time trying different ways to do it. Embedding these was very easy on this Wikispaces wiki. This was a deciding factor in favor of Wikispaces because I wanted the user to be able to use each of my learning resources without leaving this site.
    During my many attempts to embed Survey Monkey onto my Google site, I noticed that Google sites encourages site creators to embed Google gadgets. When editing a page in a Google site, selecting insert will bring up a menu full of simple objects and Google gadgets which can be embedded easily. It is possible to embed some non-Google widgets, but the creator must first click More gadgets..., sift through another box of Google gadgets and look hard for the Add gadget by Url choice, printed in a smaller font and easy to miss. In short, Wikispaces is widget-friendly, while Google sites is only gadget-friendly. (cite difference btwn the two from About.com
    In contrast to Google’s effort to promote their other web products by steering site creators toward some gadgets and widgets and away from others, Wikispaces is dedicated only to providing paid and free wikis. (Free website hosting is just one of Google’s many enterprises, and there seems to be an effort to make this enterprise to support their other ones.—word more elegantly) The user-friendliness of Wikispaces offering free wikis for educators / wikis dedicated to educational purposes.
    ability to create interactive discussion forums
    I had envisioned using discussion forums to engage diploma candidates in discussion on the topics dealt with in the learning resources. I also wanted to use discussion forums to elicit feedback from users on the activities. At first glance, Wikispaces looked like it provided better capability for discussion forums than Google sites. Wikispaces wikis have a simple discussion forum feature on each page, (different on each page)enabling the wiki creator to add discussion questions. Unfortunately I discovered later that only Wikispaces members are allowed to post to discussion forums. (This is strange because non-members are allowed to edit the wiki.) I discovered a gadget called Google Moderator, which creates easy-to-use discussion forums that any user with the link can contribute to. The moderator enters a question, and participants “vote” by posting their responses by marking a “thumbs up”or “thumbs down”. Therefore Google sites would have been the better choice for enabling interactive discussion on my website.
    A more primitive way to elicit feedback and discussion has simply been to create a page that encourages users to enter their feedback and responses to discussion questions.
    What about the EDIT button?
    Who can delete the wiki?
    A wiki is essentially a collaborative tool. At this point, I am the solo author of this wiki and have not solicited collaboration. However, this could change, as my co-bloggers, also Diploma-holders, become more involved in teacher training. As mentioned above, the wiki has potential as an adjunct to an e-book we are planning based on our blog.
    As a public wiki, anybody who visits it can edit it if they so choose. I do doubt the likelihood of this happening, as the scope of the site is so specialized that viewers not involved in TESOL would probably quickly lose interest and leave. In the event of lost content, it is always possible to use the revision history function to restore an earlier version.
    It is interesting to note here that Mark Pegrum (originally developed wiki, now beginning to benefit from collaborative input of colleagues and post-grad students
    Carl Dowse, business English online, (in this wikispace you will find a wide selection of online resources for learners and teachers of business English) Looked at his page revision histories—he seems to be the only contributor
    And Mark Pegrum, e-language wiki (where you’ll find a growing set of resources about e-learning) Originally only his work, but now there are collaborators: colleagues and post-grad students.
    have also chosen wikis as platforms for providing resources.
    Implementing the site with learners
    A few diploma candidates have used the site and informally given me positive feedback via email, saying the learning activities were useful (lost the emails, but can email them again for their response) I did not get a great deal of response, partly due to the timing of when the website became ready to use, i.e. July. At that time, the diploma candidates involved with Oxford TEFL were busy with their teaching practice module, doing observed lessons several times a week.
    -require student interaction and instantiate Bloom's Taxonomy: have no way of knowing
    Other areas for critical reflection
    I don’t understand how a website can instantiate Bloom’s Taxonomy?
    Anything I would do differently were I to do it over again?
    Critique
    Educational origami wiki: great explanations and resources on Bloom’s Taxonomy edorigami.wikispaces.com Has rubrics which might be helpful!! :) Looked at the revision history of several of his pages and saw that achurches is the only one who has edited them—so it’s not really a collaborative wiki
    Endnotes
    (1) Task-oriented Question Construction Wheel. http://community.wvu.edu/~lsm018/Articulate%20Blooms%20Wheel/blooms_wheel.html. Accessed: 6/9/2012.

    (view changes)
    2:41 am

Friday, March 15

  1. page Rationale edited ... Endnotes (1) Task-oriented Question Construction Wheel. http://community.wvu.edu/~lsm018/Arti…
    ...
    Endnotes
    (1) Task-oriented Question Construction Wheel. http://community.wvu.edu/~lsm018/Articulate%20Blooms%20Wheel/blooms_wheel.html. Accessed: 6/9/2012.
    Hi Hon,
    Ok - I 've read your rationale, here's some brief comments.
    Structure - Clearer headings and sub-headings would make it easier to read, and easier to write I think. I've been doing loads of essays for EES, and I'd choose different headings, which means that you can re-organise stuff to make it clearer.
    For example, what about INTRODUCTION - BACKGROUND - PURPOSE OF SITE - PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT/ DESIGN - EVALUATION CRITIERA - REFLECTIONS - CONCLUSIONS.
    You could also label each section 1...2...and then sub-headings of 1.2, 1.3, 1.4...2..2.1 and so on. This would make it much clearer. For example, you talk about the Trintiy blog in one section, but this could come in the Background section, as its something prior to this assignment.
    *I would also bullet point the purposes of the site.
    *There are questions at the end of one section, reflective questions. These are good! You'll get marked up for this, but I would organise the questions schematically, in a list, i) ii), whatever. You can draw on these in the conclusion.
    *points for evaluation I would also list
    Google/ Wikispaces I'm not sure what you get most marks for, but you spend a lot of time on this. Can you make a table, with sections and tick marks comparing Google and Wikispace - this might be clearer.
    Implementation/ Feedback/ Student Reaction - Do you need a section on student reactions? or how they interacted I I would something like this is, and include a screen shot or interview (the place you got quote from) in an Appendix. You can always get me to pretent to be a student, I wouldn't rule it out.
    Apart from that it's fine, I would include some more quotes, and a references section at end, but it just needs more work that's all.
    Hope that this helps, can't wait to see u again,
    love,

    (view changes)
    7:41 am
  2. page Discussion Forums edited ... Using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in English language teaching Feedback…
    ...
    Using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in English language teaching
    Feedback on this site
    forums
    (view changes)
    7:14 am
  3. page Discussion Forums edited ... This discussion forum is a place for us all to exchange ideas, learn, and sharpen our thinking…
    ...
    This discussion forum is a place for us all to exchange ideas, learn, and sharpen our thinking. Please be polite to other participants by positively acknowledging their contributions. A critique of ideas, not other people, is welcome when it is done respectfully. Please post concisely.
    How to post
    ...
    typing your real name or username.a nickname.
    Discussion topics
    Phonology
    (view changes)
    7:03 am

Wednesday, November 28

  1. page Discussion Forums edited ... Using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in English language teaching Feedback…
    ...
    Using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in English language teaching
    Feedback on this site
    forums
    (view changes)

Tuesday, November 20

  1. page Feedback on this site edited Your feedback is welcome! Please help me improve Thank you very much for the site by sharing an…
    Your feedback is welcome! Please help me improveThank you very much for the site by sharing any of your thoughts, suggestions or criticisms offlashcards. I am taking my diploma exam soon and for the site, its resources, its navigation, or its appearance.first time it helped to clear the cloud of confusion created after reading Roach.
    Thank you
    Ian

    (view changes)

Tuesday, September 11

  1. page Rationale edited ... Endnotes (1) Task-oriented Question Construction Wheel. http://community.wvu.edu/~lsm018/Arti…
    ...
    Endnotes
    (1) Task-oriented Question Construction Wheel. http://community.wvu.edu/~lsm018/Articulate%20Blooms%20Wheel/blooms_wheel.html. Accessed: 6/9/2012.
    Hi Hon,
    Ok - I 've read your rationale, here's some brief comments.
    Structure - Clearer headings and sub-headings would make it easier to read, and easier to write I think. I've been doing loads of essays for EES, and I'd choose different headings, which means that you can re-organise stuff to make it clearer.
    For example, what about INTRODUCTION - BACKGROUND - PURPOSE OF SITE - PROCESS OF DEVELOPMENT/ DESIGN - EVALUATION CRITIERA - REFLECTIONS - CONCLUSIONS.
    You could also label each section 1...2...and then sub-headings of 1.2, 1.3, 1.4...2..2.1 and so on. This would make it much clearer. For example, you talk about the Trintiy blog in one section, but this could come in the Background section, as its something prior to this assignment.
    *I would also bullet point the purposes of the site.
    *There are questions at the end of one section, reflective questions. These are good! You'll get marked up for this, but I would organise the questions schematically, in a list, i) ii), whatever. You can draw on these in the conclusion.
    *points for evaluation I would also list
    Google/ Wikispaces I'm not sure what you get most marks for, but you spend a lot of time on this. Can you make a table, with sections and tick marks comparing Google and Wikispace - this might be clearer.
    Implementation/ Feedback/ Student Reaction - Do you need a section on student reactions? or how they interacted I I would something like this is, and include a screen shot or interview (the place you got quote from) in an Appendix. You can always get me to pretent to be a student, I wouldn't rule it out.
    Apart from that it's fine, I would include some more quotes, and a references section at end, but it just needs more work that's all.
    Hope that this helps, can't wait to see u again,
    love,

    (view changes)
    6:09 am

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