Sessions / Poster

Effective usage of ICT in review and feedback in EFL class #64

Sat, Jun 6, 10:00-10:30 JST | Zoom F

Office 365 Forms is a useful service which collects students’ feedback. It is generally used to create feedback questionnaires due to the easy access and collection of data. However, Office 365 Forms is also worthwhile in creating review quizzes which students can easily access with their smartphones. Students scan the QR code of quizzes created via Office 365 Form and then send the answers. The results of the quizzes pop up on their smartphones immediately so that students can see their test results promptly. This can help university students obtain a small sense of accomplishment. Motivating undergraduate students in liberal arts classes to study English is challenging even though they are expected to pass STEP Eiken grade 2 by the end of the course. The forms can be used for building vocabulary as well as reading comprehension proficiency. I did a pre and a post survey asking university students how they felt about their vocabulary building skills. In addition, I did a post survey on how satisfied the students were with the usage of the feedback questionnaires via Office 365 form. The results will be shown in the poster presentation.

Quizlet and Slack in English for Mathematics #65

Sat, Jun 6, 10:40-11:10 JST | Zoom B

English for Mathematics is a series of workshops designed for university students and teachers of mathematics at a Japanese institute of technology. Sessions are offered to provide students with additional opportunities to practice English in an area of interest. The focus of the workshops for attending content teachers is on developing language skills to teach their content area in English. In previous iterations, these workshops have focused on general mathematics topics, teaching English through content. In the fall 2019 semester the content was changed from general topics in mathematics to applied mathematics, specifically space and aerospace engineering. These topics contained familiar mathematical concepts, but solving word problems with many new vocabulary items caused the learners difficulty. To address this issue, Quizlet word lists were created and distributed via the Slack application for learners to practice before and during each session. Slack is a work-oriented messaging platform that has intuitive workspace management for handling multifaceted projects. Using both of these applications allowed the attendees to prepare and acquire the vocabulary more quickly. Slack provided the space to share ideas and ask questions, while Quizlet allowed for a more interesting and diversified way to practice new vocabulary.

This poster presentation will explain why Quizlet and Slack were used and how each were implemented. The presenter will also discuss examples of the content-specific vocabulary included and how Quizlet improved the learners' experience. Details from an example session will also be shared.

Visualization in test item writing #44

Sat, Jun 6, 11:20-11:50 JST | Zoom E

When writing grammar test items, the item writer is often reliant on intuition and professional judgement in selecting distractors and structuring samples. However, one criticism of this is that it is open to bias and misjudgments that can reduce the reliability and validity of a test. The English Language Program at International University of Japan was recently tasked with improving the grammar portion of a placement test. The purpose of the placement test is to determine which incoming students need further language support for their English-only Masters degrees. To improve the test, we took a visual approach that helped us to make decisions about test constructs, specific items and distractors. Through analysis of a learner corpus and an academic corpus, we created visual plots, including mosaic plots, residual plots, word clouds and bar charts which work alongside standard concordancing software in helping us to improve the placement test. This poster focuses on how we put visualization into practice in order to construct test items by explaining how we interpreted the various plots. The poster will also outline how the plots were generated and offer further suggestions for automating this process in the future.

How to decrease teaching administration while maintaining learning outcomes by using CALL without LMS #4

Sat, Jun 6, 16:40-17:10 JST | Zoom F

This presentation is for computer system administrators seeking to reduce LMS (learner management system) costs while maintaining learning outcomes.

LMSs track when and what students learn. For each student and learning task, the LMS reports variables such as the length of time spent on the task (time on task),the number of renditions of the task (practice count), correctness of the renditions (response accuracy), and the tasks preceding and following the task (task order). These statistics are valuable yet too voluminous and detailed to be analyzed while learning is taking place. LMSs are costly to install and administer. Some features are rarely used, either because there are extraneous features, or because there is insufficient personnel to use them.

By contrast, web servers that merely ask questions and provide answers to users are almost as effective as LMSs. Adaptive testing increases learning efficiency. Opening the system to the public showcases the institution's capability. Not tracking the learners' learning history reduces costs.

At my institution, the leading use of LMS is enforcing the completion of assignments. Among our CALL-based courses, Chinese language courses ceased using LMSs, and English language courses are transitioning away from LMSs. The reasons are (a) tracking individual students is not practical when the student-to-instructor ratio exceeds roughly 100 to 1, (b) enforcing task completion is unnecessary when task items comprise a question pool from which midterm or final exam questions are drawn, and (c) learning opportunities increase when students are not required to log in.

The best podcasts for English learners in Japan #50

Sat, Jun 6, 17:20-17:50 JST | Zoom C

Do Japanese university students enjoy listening to podcasts to improve their English skills? How effective are podcasts for learning English? How do teachers in Japan utilize English-learning podcasts? What are the most popular podcasts for language learners?

First, this poster will cite research which has concluded that, theoretically, podcasts seem to be effective tools for improving English as a Foreign Language (EFL) skills. Also, the presenter will explain about numerous recent longitudinal studies which have concluded that the use of podcasts has led to improvements in certain EFL skills. However, research will also be cited which shows that students have mixed emotions about using their free time to study English via podcasts. Then, five of the most widespread approaches to using podcasts in the language class will be delineated.

Finally, in the most important part of this poster, the presenter will give several short lists of “the best podcasts for students of English in Japan.” Of course, all students have different English abilities, different goals, and different likes. Thus, several lists are provided. The lists were all compiled earlier this year, after researching about 100 English-learning podcast sites, after taking various pedagogical principles into account, and after surveying about 80 university students.

For almost 15 years, the presenter has conducted research on using podcasts in EFL classes, especially in Japan. He is the main producer of “Hiroshima University’s English Podcast,” which is thought to have thousands of listeners each week.

A perspective from learning analytics into the international virtual exchange project #57

Sun, Jun 7, 10:40-11:10 JST | Zoom A

The International Virtual Exchange Project is a collaborative online activity in which students from non-English-speaking countries asynchronously interact through text and graphics using Moodle forums for the purpose of learning about different cultures and developing English communication skills. Since its introduction in 2015, this activity has been taken by more than 15,000 students and 300 teachers from 15 countries. During the series of exchanges, the participating students generate various data, including the time and frequency of access, the number of posts and replies, and the choice of partners. Thus, the presenter examined the exchanges from the perspective of learning analytics (LA). More specifically, the student-generated data were visualized and analyzed using the LA tools available within the learning management system and those of third parties. One of the tools, the Statistics, for example, showed the chronological transition of the views and posts in the forums for the teachers to learn the timing of surge and ebb of the students' interest, while the Forum Report provided the number of posts and replies as well as the word count of each individual in a particular group. Furthermore, the Forum Graph visually presented the interrelationships among the groups of students. Overall, this poster presentation reveals the hidden realities of the international virtual exchanges and aims to trigger discussions regarding what the data suggest in comparison to the results of the questionnaires and interviews conducted at the end of the project.

Online discussion to fuel in-class participation #36

Sun, Jun 7, 13:00-13:30 JST | Zoom B

Encouraging students to continue their studies outside of classroom walls and ensuring they prepare for/participate in each class is a constant challenge. This poster examines one way technology can allow teachers to continue discussions outside of the classroom using online platforms. An online discussion forum was established via Google classroom for two freshman communication classes. The students utilized the tool for one academic year, participating in twelve semi-structured online discussion assignments. These assignments were directly tied into the classwork, culminating with discussion skills tests centered around the same topics. Students were encouraged to provide explicit feedback about the effectiveness of the program via group interviews at the end of each semester.

The poster will discuss the aims of the online discussion, its practice and results, student feedback, and the observed problems/limitations of the project. It will explore topics such as social cohesiveness, interpersonal relations, fluency, and how to smoothly integrate the technology into the classroom. Teachers will be able to share their experiences using similar formats or take away new ideas that they can integrate into their classroom with little or no learning curve.