The development of an online course in Irish: Adapting academic materials to the needs of secondary-school students
Abstract: The purpose of this chapter is to discuss the development of an online crash course in elementary Irish, which was originally planned as a follow-up to an Irish lesson given at “St Patrick’s Days” celebrations held in Zamość, Poland, in March 2013. The course was based on a conventional Irish textbook by Aidan Doyle and Edmund Gussmann and enriched with interactive materials. It was created and published on WebClass, the author’s own online learning content management system. Following a consideration of the challenges and opportunities of teaching Irish using web-based technology, the chapter focuses on the authoring of materials on WebClass. It also addresses some other aspects of e-course design such as testing, self-assessment and the provision of feedback. In addition, it contains a brief report on how the course was used to teach basic Irish to students of a high and junior high school in Lublin, Poland. The effectiveness of the course was estimated by analysing the final test scores, by examining the correlation between the time spent studying the lessons and test performance, as well as by considering how the students had self-assessed their achievement of the learning objectives. The study shows that technology can pave the way for building a bridge between school and academia by facilitating the adaptation of academic materials to be used by secondary-school students.
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