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evaluation: effectiveness, student/teacher attitudes, and curriculum
Background: Teaching as I do at a Japanese university, and given the characteristics of students (they're sometimes quiet, for one thing, and since my English classes are mixed with students from various majors at different levels, computer-based language learning software seems intuitively to have definite benefits. OTOH, there is a potential mismatch between student expectations of the teacher’s role in the classroom, and a need to meet their desire for communication (though they’re reluctant to speak up sometimes). An interesting study would evaluate the s/w (with all the difficulties of a method study) and students’ attitudes towards it.
Research question: My
questions at this stage wouldn’t very focused, I’m afraid.
How well does the computer meet students’ and
teachers’ learning and teaching needs. (software evaluation both of
the pedagogy of the s/w and the “utility”)
What are students’ and teachers’ attitudes towards the
How can such s/w be integrated into a coherent curriculum
Suggested methodology/comments: For question 1 above, a quantitative evaluation of the s/w. Comparative studies with “traditional” classrooms tend to be pretty weak, but a reliable measure of learning.
For question 2 above, a qualitative formative and summative evaluation of the computer and its role in the classroom through individual and focus group interviews and through informal text-based surveys (which could be submitted over the intra- or internet) and informal in-class observation of how students use the s/w.
Contact: Steve McGuire firstname.lastname@example.org
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