Collaborative Italian: An Open Online Language Course

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Abstract

The focus of this case study is on the design and content of a module in Italian language, Collaborative Italian (Collit), which provides the empirical ground to implement open and student-led learning. Collit is an online learning initiative which targets adult students with at least an Intermediate (B1) level of Italian. It is free, optional and non-credit bearing. Most significantly, Collit is open in content and practice. By exploiting the openness and the flexibility of the online environment, Collit provides the learners with an overall communicative language learning experience based on collaboration and social interaction. Collit's central activities pivot around a wiki task for which the learners take responsibility for their learning outcomes by developing their own learning content in accordance with their needs and interests. That is, the learners actively contribute to Collit's curriculum by using open online resources to create new learning materials to be shared within the learning community. The result is increased engagement, participation and involvement with the learning process for the benefit of language achievement. The aim of this contribution is to present Collit by focussing on its design, its content and practice and to reflect on the affordances and limitations that have emerged from it.

Keywords: openness, collaboration, learner-generated content, online learning, MOOC, language learning.

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Goria, Cecilia. (2013). Collaborative Italian: An Open Online Language Course. In Ana Beaven, Anna Comas-Quinn, Barbara Sawhill (Eds), Case Studies of Openness in the Language Classroom (pp. 189-201). Research-publishing.net. https://doi.org/10.14705/rpnet.2013.000120

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