Student engagement in a
multimedia setting
Karin Duffner
Centre for Excellence in Multimedia Language Learning
Forum for Innovation in Teaching and Learning
Lunchtime seminar - 19 November 2008
Outline of Talk
a. Digital labs: the potential & the reality
b. Designing pedagogy
c. Examples of innovations to enhance student
….exploring pedagogical effectiveness
of multimedia language labs.
• Add pic
Using classroom management software
Staff can use
technology to
monitor progress
Students can raise their
“hand” to seek help.
Digital Language Labs – the potential
Dynamic Teaching Environment
a set of tools for:
presenting teacher/student screens
sharing files & applications
accessing information
monitoring comprehension
secure assessment
Multimedia Environment
access to variety of media:
CD, DVD, media files (digitised)
streaming audio, video
satellite television
WWW sites & communication tools
WebCT (University VLE )
Teaching Methodology
combine the benefits of:
computer-assisted learning
face-to-face teaching
peer interaction plus
access to the Multimedia Resource
Unit for independent learning
Digital Language Labs – the reality
We don’t know
what to do with
them! Help!
Group discussion, CEMLL UK Symposium – 16/06/‘08
CEMLL Survey of UK Higher Education institutions
> 70% have access to at least one multimedia language lab
• existing multimedia labs are not being used to their full potential
as state-of-the-art teaching facilities
• used simply as ordinary classrooms with little or no use being
made of the unique technological advantages they offer
…..absence of suitable exemplars
of appropriate pedagogy
Need for Pedagogical Design
Perhaps it is not
“the particular delivery technology….rather, the design of the
course that determines the effectiveness of the learning”
(Rovai, 2002)
Design: in search of a model
Conversational framework – Laurillard (1997, 2002)
E-Moderating model – Salmon (2000)
Taxonomy of educational objectives – Bloom (1956)
Seven principles for good practice in undergraduate education
– Chickering & Gamson (1986)
Four views - Bransford, Brown and Cocking (1999)
The process of learning model – Laird (1985)
[…many more…Mayer (2001), Biggs (1999), Collis
(1999), Conole & Fill (2005)…….]
The process of learning model Laird (1985)
Key Projects
1. Teaching for Transition
2. Task-based Learning
3. Irish Pronunciation
4. French Translation
5. Supporting the Year Abroad
6. Interactive Interpreting
Cyclical Framework
“different learning outcomes are best
learned through particular types of
learning activities” (Prensky, 2000)
Revise Plan for
Some multimedia resources used
WebCT Vista
University VLE to support course management
Hot Potatoes
web-based exercises, multiple choice tests
CALL software
language specific programs,
electronic dictionaries
editing & recording audio e.g. Audacity
video e.g. Windows Movie Maker
playback s/w
Windows Media Player, RealPlayer
online tools &
freesurvey tools, wiki, websites, YouTube
SONY Soloist /
audio comparative recording,
lesson editing software suitable for interpreting
e.g. Sony Virtuoso, SmartClass Visual Interface
management s/w
screen capturing software
1. Teaching for transition
1. To aid the transition between school and university
2. To enhance student awareness of weaknesses in grammar
Digital tools
WebCT: computerised tests  to diagnose strengths / weaknesses &
to assess prior knowledge
Hot Potatoes exercises
 to note ability levels & monitor progress
CALL software
 to enhance learning, provide variety,
to acknowledge different learning styles
Reaction of students
• Positive feedback
– 70% of respondents felt technology made positive contribution to
learning grammar
– students wanted more exercises, especially those available online
• Motivational Value - diagnostics test revealed their
“I think that Hot Potatoes was an excellent
way to learn main grammar points”
“…like the way you have to keep working
before you are given a clue or answer”
2. Task-based learning
Aims: Language Acquisition
1. investigate use of technology in oral classes using TBL approach
2. increase student participation in conversation classes
Hot Potatoes
students create crosswords for each other
- > fun, friendly competition
Audio editing &
students record their voices, interview peers
- > encourages self-evaluation & monitoring
students develop & complete surveys in class
- > immediate language focus, sense of ownership
Online survey tool
Video- jigsaw
students sequence video clips in correct order
- > opportunity for negotiation, discussion, collaboration
students summarise story in own words
- > help student find own voice, authentic materials used
Role of Multimedia in Languages
• inherent interactivity -> rich collaborative activities, student-led
• SLA methodology currently favours knowledge construction
• project/task-based learning - the real forte of digital media &
technology enhanced tools
• learners engage in the creation of “comprehensible output”
…language study requires intensive interaction. ..and access to advanced
educational technology (e.g. audio, video, multi-media & computing facilities).
Multimedia capabilities…..enable the profession to incorporate much
needed sociolinguistic authenticity into the L2 classroom. (Meunier,’94).
3. Irish pronunciation
1. to adopt a dynamic solution to teaching Irish pronunciation
2. to develop resources for use with students
Digital tools
Audacity: voice recording
 to self-evaluate, for teacher to assess
WebCT: portfolio of recordings  to monitor process/product, set own goals
PowerPoint notes
 to support learning
U. of Iowa animated website
 to understand theory behind phonetics
Use of “authentic” audio / video
 to recognise pronunciation, provide
(TG4, Radió na Gaeltachta)
variety, acknowledge different learning
styles, experience community of practice
Students’ comments
 teaching material easily visible
 resources readily available
 immediacy of activity
 seamless integration
 allows individualised instruction, 1:1
 efficient use of class-time
 independent learning, greater
 increases IT literacy
 presents subject in modern way
 Dislikes
 access issues
 eye strain
 intense!
 can be impersonal
 need for balance (non-computer
related activities)
4. French translation
to provide a flexible, student-centered approach to teaching translation
skills in a second year French translation module
Digital tools
WebCT: translation activities
online reflective log
Wiki: group translation tasks
Video-editing software: subtitling
Electronic dictionaries
Web-based resources
 to assess ability
to self-evaluate, develop awareness
 to collaborate, to peer-review
 to provide applied context for translation
 to provide lexical support
 to compare standards of translations
Example of activity - wiki
Collaborative translation work
Comment on translations
Archived access to translations over semester
Selective Release of information / exemplary model translation
“Checking related
websites helped me
understand the context
and get a feel for the
“I felt that the class
demonstrated the subtleties
of the meaning of words. I
began to see how the
choice of word is not
necessarily what it looks
like in English”
“Very helpful, I have realised it is
important to look at different
dictionaries to find the correct
word to use.”
5. Year Abroad Support
Innovations in development
Pedagogical need: adequate preparation prior to trip, maintain contact
with University & encourage reflection while abroad -> need for
centralised communication platform
Aim: To facilitate student learning and pastoral support online
• Support/administrative materials on WebCT
• Pastoral meetings via synchronous chat tools
• Completion of online assessments
• Development of online e-portfolio of information on year abroad
• Use of multimedia lab technologies for year abroad preparation
6. Interactive Interpreting
Innovations in development
Pedagogical need: skilled area, lots of practice & repeated testing
required -> need for digitised content & regular access to materials, also
ease of capture of student work
Aim: To provide support materials to encourage student interpreting
practice beyond the classroom
• Banks of listening dialogues (in mp3 format) available on WebCT
• Access to interpreting transcripts for self-assessment
• Self-practice tools (Wimba) for students to practice and selfassess/tutor to monitor
At University of Ulster
Labs heavily-used for teaching, both in Coleraine and Magee
Multimedia Resource Unit frequented by languages and media students
More languages staff adopting aspects of technology in their teaching
Positive student attitude, evidence of increased motivation and
• Approaches commended by external examiners, noted in Revalidation
• Multimedia approaches embedded in course structure
• CEMLL dissemination events in UK well-attended and received, growing
momentum and recognition
• Increasing interest in CEMLL Multimedia Lab Teaching Award
• Establishment of network of practitioners
• Collaborative venture to produce a Good Practice Guide
• timetabling
• access for staff & students
• safe environment to practice,
prepare materials
• staff turnover / skills development
server management issues
software incompatibilities
lab maintenance / updates
• time: (sourcing appropriate tools, developing
materials, devising methodology, evaluating)
• aligning aims: (teaching goals/student
assessment/institutional practices/evaluation)
• dissemination (examples, getting the word
out there)
• changing practice / exploiting technology
Future Plans
Multimedia Lab Teaching Awards
Good Practice Guide
Languages Workshops - Coleraine, 20th Jan. ’09 & Magee, 21st Jan. ’09
Launch of new multimedia language lab - Belfast campus, 22nd Jan ‘09
CEMLL pre-conference workshops - at the Subject Centre e-Learning
Symposium ’09, University of Southampton, 29th Jan ’09
3rd CEMLL Symposium - Belfast, September ‘09
Thank you very much for listening
• Bloom, Benjamin S. (editor). 1956.Taxonomy of educational
objectives: Book 1, Cognitive domain. New York: Longman.
• Bransford, J., Brown A., & Cocking, R. (1999) How people learn: brain,
mind experiences and school. Washington, DC: National Academy
• CEMLL report (2008) [online] Report on Multimedia Language
Learning in Higher Education in the UK. [http:///]
• Chickering, A. & Gamson, Z. (1986) Seven Principles for good practice
in undergraduate education. The Wingspread Journal, 9(2)
• Laird D., (1985). Approaches to Training and Development. Reading,
Massachusetts: Addison-Wesley.
References cont.
• Laurillard, D. (2002) Rethinking University Teaching: a conversational
framework for the effective use of learning technologies. 2nd ed. London:
• Meunier, L. (1994) Computer-assisted language instruction and
cooperative learning. Applied Language Learning, 5(2)
• Prensky, M. (2001) Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon.
NCB University Press, 9(5)
• Rovai, A. P. (2002) Building Sense of Community at a Distance.
International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 3(1)
• Salmon, G. Eds. (2000) E-moderating: the key to teaching and
learning online. 2nd ed. London: RoutledgeFalmer
• Swain, M. (1985) Communicative competence: Some roles of
comprehensible input and comprehensible output in its development. In
S. Gass & C. Madden (Eds.), Input in second language acquisition.
Rowley, MA: Newbury House.
Conversational Framework
Seven Principles for Good Practice in
Undergraduate Education
Chickering & Gamson (1986)
Taxonomy of educational objectives
Bloom (1956)
An Effective Learning Environment
as described by Bransford, Brown & Cocking (1999)
E-Moderating model
Salmon (2004) 5 stage model of teaching and learning online

Student Engagement in a Multimedia Setting