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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 5 - Looking back: What did we do right? (Melinda Dooly) 149


CHAPTER 5 Looking back: What did we do right? Melinda Dooly Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain – and most fools do. (Dale Carnegie) Summary In this chapter we review some of the essential elements needed to create the environment and design the activities for a successful online collabora- tive language learning project. While it may seem we are repeating what was said in Chapters One and Two, we feel that it is important to high- light the main ingredients for effective online collaboration. Suggestions and guidelines for student assessment are given, with a special emphasis on self and peer assessment. Finally, we take a look at how to assess our own projects, followed by a list of behaviours and frame of minds that fa- cilitate collaboration. What makes a good online collaborative project? We have already discussed this in some detail in Chapter 1 when going over exactly what an online collaborative learning project is. However, it is worth a quick revision in this assessment chap- ter. As we have continually pointed out, collaborative learning must incorporate tasks and activities that encourage students to reflect and dis- cuss their learning process. Learners should share with each other how they came to their solutions of each problem they en- CHAPTER 5 150 countered. This includes discussing problems which emerged during their own learning process – sharing their problems and accomplishments with peers is an effective way to ensure learn- ing – as well as discussing problems they may have with their collaborative...

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