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Luciana Nunes Viter (FAETEC, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
Engagement in Digital Contexts
of Language Learning
The research
This is an excerpt from my master’s dissertation
research, where I investigated the implementation of
digital activities in an English for Academic Purposes
(EAP) course and the students’ engagement in these
activities.
I discuss the factors that contributed positively or
negatively to the success of the digital content
implementation in the course from the participants’
point of view.
Participants
• The students;
• The teacher and the monitor;
• The author-researcher
(also a technical adviser).
A Blended Learning Course
Blended teaching presence in the country
was stimulated by the current legislation
that allows 20% of higher education face
to face courses to be distance offered.
Digital Environment
Methodological Approach
• Qualitative paradigm;
• Etnographick perspective
(from the participants’ view).
Research Question I
Do the participants (students, teacher and
monitor) consider that the different kinds of
interaction (student-student, student-teacher
and student-content) provided by the virtual
learning environment investigated were
sufficient and adequate to the course? Why?
Research Question II
From the participant’s perspectives, which
factors and aspects hampered and which
favored the students’ engagement in the
interactions proposed in the virtual learning
environment of the blended learning course?
Instruments
• Forums Discussions;
• Online Focus Group;
• Interviews (teacher and monitor);
• Questionnaires to students.
Favorable Factors
Students’ Engagement
Digital Mediation
The availability of classes in PowerPoint in the
online environment were profitable, as well as
discussions in the forums, for providing a greater
number of views and information.
The online component was a little tough, but it was
important.
Diversity of Formats
The videos were very useful because they used
various linguistic resources, not just text. I also
found the auto response activities very dynamic
Most useful contents: texts (deeper issues),
PowerPoint (more direct information), auto
response (easy to study) and forums (great
interactivity and varied opinions).
Interactions with Teacher and Monitor
The Moodle platform was very helpful, allowing
students’ interaction and also the teacher’s and
monitor’s interactions, which have always been very
solicitous and thoughtful with our doubts.
Students Interactions
As another plus point, I quote the forums, and I
believe they could still be further explored. The
conflict of ideas provided by this tool adds a lot to
the students.
Continuous Assessment
We were able to enlist the help of the teacher and the
monitor all the time. We could solve any doubt in
short time through Moodle and e-mail, which was
extremely important for the activities.
Unfavorable Factors
Students’ Engagement
Digital Limitations
The forum was the least profitable space since the
discussions usually were out of the subject.
Discussions at the forum were the worst part. I
don’t like online discussions, There’s no way to
know when someone is being offensive or not and
so it is impossible to maintain a healthy
discussion.
Face to Face x Online
I thought the Moodle proposal was good, but I
thought there were too many lessons on this
platform, which tired me a little. I wished we had
more regular classes.
Less mandatory activities in Moodle would
decrease the total student absenteeism, since it is
easier to remember to come to the school than
remember to enter the site (Student who preferred
to remain anonymous).
Interactions without Teacher
The student-content interaction was somewhat
less effective than I expected. I always found better
to have classes with a teacher than to have slides
lessons
Complexity and Volume of Activities
I'm aware that the virtual classes addressed
important topics, but some of them were very
extensive.
The forums were good activities. But so many
mandatory online activities were a little heavy
Time Management
Many tasks were supposed to be done at home
demanding a lot of time commitment and beyond
these tasks there were still the posts here in
Moodle.
One downside, for me at least, was the lessons
delivery. I’m used to study overnight, so the time
11:59 p.m. did not favor me ...
Final Results
Factors that favored the
engagement
Unfavorable Factors to
engagement
Features offered by digital
mediation
Limitations arising from digital
mediation
Diversity of activities formats Imbalance between online and face to
face activities
Interactions between students
and teachers
Interactions without teacher mediation
Interactions between students Volume and complexity of online
activities
Continuous assessment of
activities
Time management difficulty
Contradictions: Less is More I
Personal
Development
Learning
Results
Time and Efforts
Commitment
Contradictions: Less is More II
Behavioral
Engament
Cognitive
Engagement
Emotional
Engagement
Contradictions: Less is More III
Time Flexibility
Ease of Use
Quick Communication
Digital Limitations
Online x Face to Face
Interactions
Reference
Viter, L. N. (2013). Interação e engajamento em ambiente virtual de
aprendizagem: um estudo de caso,
Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro.
Thanks!
Available at:
https://www.slideshare.net/lucianaviter

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Engagement in Digital Contexts of Language Learning

  • 1. Luciana Nunes Viter (FAETEC, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) Engagement in Digital Contexts of Language Learning
  • 2. The research This is an excerpt from my master’s dissertation research, where I investigated the implementation of digital activities in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course and the students’ engagement in these activities. I discuss the factors that contributed positively or negatively to the success of the digital content implementation in the course from the participants’ point of view.
  • 3.
  • 4. Participants • The students; • The teacher and the monitor; • The author-researcher (also a technical adviser).
  • 5. A Blended Learning Course Blended teaching presence in the country was stimulated by the current legislation that allows 20% of higher education face to face courses to be distance offered.
  • 7. Methodological Approach • Qualitative paradigm; • Etnographick perspective (from the participants’ view).
  • 8. Research Question I Do the participants (students, teacher and monitor) consider that the different kinds of interaction (student-student, student-teacher and student-content) provided by the virtual learning environment investigated were sufficient and adequate to the course? Why?
  • 9. Research Question II From the participant’s perspectives, which factors and aspects hampered and which favored the students’ engagement in the interactions proposed in the virtual learning environment of the blended learning course?
  • 10. Instruments • Forums Discussions; • Online Focus Group; • Interviews (teacher and monitor); • Questionnaires to students.
  • 12. Digital Mediation The availability of classes in PowerPoint in the online environment were profitable, as well as discussions in the forums, for providing a greater number of views and information. The online component was a little tough, but it was important.
  • 13. Diversity of Formats The videos were very useful because they used various linguistic resources, not just text. I also found the auto response activities very dynamic Most useful contents: texts (deeper issues), PowerPoint (more direct information), auto response (easy to study) and forums (great interactivity and varied opinions).
  • 14. Interactions with Teacher and Monitor The Moodle platform was very helpful, allowing students’ interaction and also the teacher’s and monitor’s interactions, which have always been very solicitous and thoughtful with our doubts.
  • 15. Students Interactions As another plus point, I quote the forums, and I believe they could still be further explored. The conflict of ideas provided by this tool adds a lot to the students.
  • 16. Continuous Assessment We were able to enlist the help of the teacher and the monitor all the time. We could solve any doubt in short time through Moodle and e-mail, which was extremely important for the activities.
  • 18. Digital Limitations The forum was the least profitable space since the discussions usually were out of the subject. Discussions at the forum were the worst part. I don’t like online discussions, There’s no way to know when someone is being offensive or not and so it is impossible to maintain a healthy discussion.
  • 19. Face to Face x Online I thought the Moodle proposal was good, but I thought there were too many lessons on this platform, which tired me a little. I wished we had more regular classes. Less mandatory activities in Moodle would decrease the total student absenteeism, since it is easier to remember to come to the school than remember to enter the site (Student who preferred to remain anonymous).
  • 20. Interactions without Teacher The student-content interaction was somewhat less effective than I expected. I always found better to have classes with a teacher than to have slides lessons
  • 21. Complexity and Volume of Activities I'm aware that the virtual classes addressed important topics, but some of them were very extensive. The forums were good activities. But so many mandatory online activities were a little heavy
  • 22. Time Management Many tasks were supposed to be done at home demanding a lot of time commitment and beyond these tasks there were still the posts here in Moodle. One downside, for me at least, was the lessons delivery. I’m used to study overnight, so the time 11:59 p.m. did not favor me ...
  • 23. Final Results Factors that favored the engagement Unfavorable Factors to engagement Features offered by digital mediation Limitations arising from digital mediation Diversity of activities formats Imbalance between online and face to face activities Interactions between students and teachers Interactions without teacher mediation Interactions between students Volume and complexity of online activities Continuous assessment of activities Time management difficulty
  • 24. Contradictions: Less is More I Personal Development Learning Results Time and Efforts Commitment
  • 25. Contradictions: Less is More II Behavioral Engament Cognitive Engagement Emotional Engagement
  • 26. Contradictions: Less is More III Time Flexibility Ease of Use Quick Communication Digital Limitations Online x Face to Face Interactions
  • 27. Reference Viter, L. N. (2013). Interação e engajamento em ambiente virtual de aprendizagem: um estudo de caso, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), Rio de Janeiro.

Hinweis der Redaktion

  1. This is an excerpt from my master’s dissertation research, where I investigated the implementation of digital activities in an English for Academic Purposes (EAP) course and the students’ engagement in these activities. I discuss the factors that contributed positively or negatively to the success of the digital content implementation in the course from the participants’ point of view.
  2. This research was carried out to investigate a virtual learning environment of a blended learning course, as well as the students’ engagement in its activities. The course, entitled “Instrumental English I – Biology”, was focused on English for Academic Purposes (EAP) and was given in the context of bachelor's courses in Marine Biology, Botany, Ecology, Genetics and Zoology at the Institute of Biology of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.
  3. The research participants were the author-researcher, who was also a supporting technical adviser to the virtual learning environment, the teacher and the monitor of the discipline, and the students who attended the course.
  4. The VLE used in the course was built in a Moodle platform, a free and open integrated system to create personalized virtual learning environments, and was organized in twelve different topics that were gradually introduced to the students along the course.
  5. The qualitative paradigm was adopted as methodological approach to the study, whose ethnographic perspective intended to favor the views of the participants. The data were generated from online discussion forums, questionnaires, interviews, and from an online focus group.
  6. The research questions that guided the investigation were: 1) Do the participants (students, teacher and monitor) consider that the different kinds of interaction (student-student, student-teacher and student-content) provided by the virtual learning environment investigated were sufficient and adequate to the course? Why?
  7. The research questions that guided the investigation were: 2) From the participant’s perspectives, which factors and aspects hampered and which favored the students’ engagement in the interactions proposed in the virtual learning environment of the blended learning course?
  8. Data were generated from four distinct ethnographic instruments: messages in ongoing forums, an online focus group created in the VLE, interviews and questionnaires after the end of the course. The choice of these tools aimed to get different views on the issues investigated and to enable subsequent data triangulation.
  9. Students, in general, approved the contents and formats used in the online component, particularly with regards to the variety of themes and suitability to the course objectives. The diversity of formats and media proved to be attractive to students for their innovative character, when compared to their usual routines, and because it contributed to comply the students’ different learning styles.
  10. The answers to the second research question were identified in the speeches of participants and have been organized into favorable and unfavorable factors to students’ engagement in online activities.
  11. After all, the results pointed to some contradictions, and the first one referred to the obligation to participate in online activities. According to course participants, such a rule certainly contributed to a compulsory student engagement in the proposed interactions, but it may have negatively influenced the emotional engagement of students. Thus, the variety of content and activities presented to the students, seen as positive for meeting diverse learning styles, was contradictorily also a negative aspect by the students’ efforts required to deal with such a big diversity of items. The students’ perspectives about the virtual component were also characterized by paradoxes. On the one hand, there was massive recognition of the advantages offered by the online mediation, as the flexibility of time and the productivity provided by the platform tools. But the students also identified the predominance of digital interactions over face to face as negative and complained about the huge investment of time the digital environment demanded from them, considered superior to the expected in a classroom context.