Библиографическое описание:

Львова А. Ф. Blended learning classroom experience [Текст] // Педагогическое мастерство: материалы V междунар. науч. конф. (г. Москва, ноябрь 2014 г.). — М.: Буки-Веди, 2014. — С. 15-17.

 

The article is devoted to our experience in the field of Blended Learning teaching. An illustrative example of the Blended Learning classroom is given.

Key words: Blended Learning, language teachers, classroom, presentation, learning environment.

 

As language teachers we understand that to serve the needs of our learners, we need to create an environment that most closely resembles actual use of the target language. In attempting to achieve the “optimal” learning environment, we have a number of resources and tools available. Recording devices, video players, newspapers, and language laboratories all provide different and varied access to content. We can employ a variety of activity types with group work and pair work, collaborative learning and independent learning to engage our learners in communicative language practice. We all try to address the need for personalized learning through the introduction of self-study resources designed for independent study.

In other words, as language teachers, although we may not have been aware of the term, we have always used a “blend” of teaching approaches in order to provide as rich a learning environment as possible for our learners. Blended learning is therefore not a new concept. What is new is the range of different learning opportunities and environments made possible today through the use of technology to support learning and teaching. What is also new is the “expectation” of our learners to use technology in and out of the classroom as part of the learning process [1].

In our article we will create an atmosphere of Blended Learning classroom.

Firstly we’ll describe the preparation phase for the lesson and secondly we’ll give an illustrative example of the Blended learning classroom in action.

Speaking about the target group, we’ll take a group of the first year students, studying at the Art department of the Saint Petersburg State University of Technology and Design.

The assignment for our students will be the following: students are to prepare a group presentation about artists’ biographies. This work means to have many colorful illustrations of the artists and their famous paintings. The group is to tell about the artists and then show several pictures drawn by these artists and ask other students (who listen to this presentation) about the associations concerning the paintings. After getting the students’ feedback and listening to their ideas, the speakers give the world known interpretation of the pictures.

These group presentations are to be prepared according to a plan:

Step 1 — every student is to prepare his/her own presentation, which is to be done at home, using the computer and Internet resources.

Step 2 –next day a student comes to the university and seeks for two other students in his group to form a group of three.

Step 3 — each group starts to discuss their collaborative future presentation, they share their ideas with each other. Every member of the group is responsible for one component of the presentation. For example, the first student is a speaker, the second student is responsible for finding the illustrations and so on.

Step 4 — some time later the group meets again and discusses the final variant of their presentation.

There will be a time limitation for this type of assignment.

Therefore, 2 week time is given to the students to get ready with this task. The presentation is brought to the class on the flash card.

Special classroom equipment includes:

1.             a computer

2.             a projector

3.             a projector board

Now let’s pass to the Blended learning classroom in action.

— “Good morning! How are you?” — says the teacher and claps hands.

— “Good morning! Fine!”- answer the students in chorus and clap hands.

— “Are you ready with your presentations?”- says the teacher and claps hands.

— “Yes, we are ready with our presentations!” — answer the students in chorus and clap hands.

— “Are you eager to begin?” — asks the teacher and claps hands.

“Yes, we are eager to begin.” -answer the students in chorus and clap hands.

Then the first group of three or four students goes to the blackboard.

The first student is occupied with technical part. He inserts flash card into the computer. He is responsible to change slides on time.

The second student writes down the unknown words on the blackboard while the 3rd student presents an oral part.

The third student is a speaker. He makes an oral presentation of the task. He declares the topic and he stands near the projector board.

During the presentation the students, forming one group change the roles. For example, the student who was responsible for changing slides starts to write down the unknown words and finally he becomes a speaker.

At the end of the presentation the speaker shows several pictures drawn by one artist and asks the classroom students about their associations concerning each picture. After getting feedback, the speaker gives the traditional interpretation of the picture. Then he passes to another picture and so on.

When the presentation is over, questions are welcome from the listening audience (the other students, not engaged in this presentation). So, the students who listen, start to ask questions concerning the presentation.

Every student in a group must know the topic well and be ready to answer the questions concerning the presentation.

After that, the group of students making a presentation takes their seats and another group of students goes to the blackboard and so on.

The teacher is watching a way the students present the information, how they ask and answer the questions, concerning the topic. So he investigates the student engagement in the process of studying. He assesses the students’ work.

When all presentations are done, the teacher asks the classroom students several questions concerning the presentation.

Asking the questions, the teacher continues to figures out which students are mastering the content quickly, which students need reinforcement.

The students who participate actively in the discussion and show their mastery are given a test. A test is led and controlled by the colleague (another language teacher), who stays in the classroom during the discussion and later takes the students, showing mastery to another classroom.

The teacher ends up with a group from two to five students in front of him. Just to work with them to address any misconceptions they may have during this lesson. In order that none of the students was left behind.

As a conclusion, we would like to say, that online learning environments can provide different ways of learning and the construction of a potentially richer learning environment that provides fresh approaches to learning. Thereby it combines different learning styles, as well as greater diversification and greater access to learning. Such learning environments should supplement or complement traditional face-to-face learning environments or, on the hand, may provide a complete learning package that requires little face-to-face contact. Without a doubt, all teaching in the very near future will be supported by more or less digital or net-base flexible solutions in the educational organization.

 

References:

 

1.      Blended Learning: Creating Learning Opportunities for Language Learners/ Debra Marsh — New York.: Cambridge University Press, 2012.

2.      “Blended Learning: Personalizing Education for Students” On-line Course (Coursera; New Teacher Center) — URL: https://class.coursera.org/blendedlearning-001 (дата обращения: 26.11.2013).

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