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Telecollaborative Language Learning

A guidebook to moderating intercultural collaboration online

Edited By Melinda Ann Dooly Owenby

This guidebook brings together the knowledge, insight and experience gained by the participants of an international telecollaborative language learning project entitled Moderating Intercultural Collaboration and Language Learning (MICaLL). Telecollaboration is understood here as a shared teaching and learning experience between distanced partners that is facilitated through the use of Internet technology; an area of growing interest for many teachers. The book first provides a theoretical outline of suitable pedagogical practices for this type of joint effort and then moves into the more practical aspects of designing, setting up, implementing and evaluating telecollaborative projects. The guidebook considers relevant questions and issues which often come up when teachers without previous experience in telecollaboration undertake this type of enterprise. Through the realistic advice and practical examples provided, the reader will be motivated to engage in telecollaborative language learning projects with their own pupils.

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CHAPTER 3 - Finding the right tools (Melinda Dooly, Jana Pavlikova, Diana Eastment, Andreas Müller-Hartmann, Maartje Visser) 77

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CHAPTER 3 Finding the right tools Melinda Dooly, Jana Pavlikov, Diana Eastment, Andreas Müller-Hartmann, Maartje Visser When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the Worldwide Web ... Now even my cat has its own page. (Bill Clinton) Summary When planning any lesson, the teacher usually takes into account how to organise the students and materials available in the classroom in order to enhance the learning process. In the case of online collaborative learning projects, how to organise the “team work” is a key strategic issue, which requires greater attention and detail than usual and involves considering factors outside of the classroom. Getting the online partners to have and maintain cohesion is essential and the tools to be used for this must be carefully considered. Partner cohesion will depend on several factors, not least of which is the support of the teacher for establishing good dynamics (discussed in Chapter 2). Online collaboration also requires a careful de- sign of the “workflow processes” and this is where the decision of the ICT tools comes into play. When designing the project workflow, project partners must discuss and decide whether to use synchronous or asyn- chronous delivery (or both) for the student delivery of the materials and input. This chapter outlines the different types of delivery, outlines some ICT tools which are commonly used in educational projects and discusses how they can become a part of online collaboration. CHAPTER 3 78 How to deliver: Synchronous or...

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