Proficiency in online learning

This past year, I’ve been trying to improve my teaching practices in my online classes in order to be more proficiency-focused.

  • We have an environment for online sessions and I started off using this tool for teaching.  I brought lesson plans and I taught a grammar or vocab concept using the white board, just like I would in a traditional classroom.  This year, I started using the online sessions as a means of interpersonal communication.  The students must talk with one another and are assessed on oral proficiency. I introduce a theme to discuss and I get things going, but they know that all of them must contribute to the conversation.
    • They have a rubric based on the proficiency levels
    • I will start using visual prompts and the method I blogged in Oral Practice.
    • I have all levels meeting at the same time so they are learning from one another.  (considering I have 1-5 students in each class, this creates a much better environment for communication).  The Spanish I students use basic phrases.  From the beginning of the year, they can introduce themselves and talk about likes/dislikes.  The other levels are expected to be using vocab and grammar appropriate to the level.
  • Our online learning environment (Moodle) has a messaging tool.  I used to only use this tool to ask about missing assignments and such.  I have started sending regular messages in Spanish with Moodle Message.
    • Sample conversation:
      Josie Wilkins[09:34 AM]:Buenos días. ¿Cómo estás? Veo que hiciste la actividad de ORIENTATION. ¿Tienes preguntas? Mira las actividades que tienes para esta semana. ¿Tienes preguntas? ¿Es difícil o fácil de entender?Student[11:16 AM]: Buenos dias. Muy bien gracias.Es facil de entender. Para las sesiones de Elluminate no se recibio un altavoz y microfono.Tambien vocab 1B no esta funcionando.Josie Wilkins [11:22 AM]: Le voy a decir que no tienes lo que necesitas para escuchar. Arreglé la actividad Vocab 1B. Gracias por decirme.
  • I am also requiring more interpersonal communication in our forum posts.  They have always had to use the forum to share, but it is now required that they comment on each others’ posts, comparing what is said to their own situations.
  • When students ask questions in messenger about the course, I post the responses in the forum as well.  Example:

TOPIC: Influir en / influir sobre  

“Un estudiante me preguntó sobre estas frases. Voy a poner la respuesta aquí también para auydar a los demás.

No hay diferencia entre “influir en” e “influir sobre”. En ambos casos significa “producir efectos en (= sobre) algo”.

Unos ejemplos: Admiro a mi madre porque ella influye sobre los demás. Los profesores influyen en los estudiantes. Mis amigos me influyen. ¿Quién te influye?

  • Finally (so far), I am also requiring them to complete the Choose your homework activity I blogged earlier, but I call it “connexiones” for the online classes.  I adapted it a little, but they have to turn in two “evidencias” each week.

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