A Case Study into Learner Engagement in the Production of OERs within an Online Language Environment

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Abstract

This case study demonstrates examples of how open practices and resources can be used to effectively engage language learners in the learning process. The case focuses on a small group of Spanish Open University learners (Beginners Spanish programme - L194 Portales) that began their language course in October 2012. The case shows a successful way of using the forums as a 'portal' for distance learners to interact, create, share and cooperate in the Virtual Learning Environments, and argues how the method employed enhances the learning experience. It also illustrates how the learners actively used the target language in their interactions which then gave them confidence to build upon their language skills. Furthermore, the case study offers the reader a model to embed into their own practice, and explains the organisational considerations behind the results should practitioners choose to replicate the methodology. It concludes by postulating that OERs can offer a real opportunity to create a strong sense of learner autonomy by encouraging the learners to become engaged in the activity of creating their own authentic materials.

Keywords: open educational resources, OERs, teaching forums, online feedback, authentic materials, interactive learning, learning experience, autonomy, collaboration.

References

Hanna, A., & Wood, D. (2011). Bridging the gap between OER initiative objectives and OER user needs in higher education. In G. Williams, P. Statham, N. Brown & B. Cleland (Eds.), Changing Demands, Changing Directions (pp. 539-551). Proceedings ascilite Hobart 2011.

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Iglesias Mora, María Dolores; Leeming, David Elvis. (2013). A Case Study into Learner Engagement in the Production of OERs within an Online Language Environment. In Ana Beaven, Anna Comas-Quinn, Barbara Sawhill (Eds), Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom (pp. 149-161). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2013.000117

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