ASSESSING WRITTEN INTERACTION: A LEARNERS’ GUIDE TO USING BLACKBOARD BLOGS IN THE UNIVERSITY LANGUAGE CLASSROOM
This best practice is part of a suite of language assessment activities designed within the context of the E-Lengua project and implemented at Trinity College Dublin’s undergraduate institution-wide language programme Designed to assess speaking and writing skills within the Blackboard Learn virtual learning environment, three new teaching and assessment activities were developed in order to promote engaged and interactive language learning and assessment supported by the use of innovative ICT activities within a higher education context. The Blackboard Blog project assesses written interaction. The Pecha Kucha project assesses spoken production. The Popplet project assesses written production. Together, these three collaborative tasks were designed to form part of a cycle of group projects completed over two terms of class.
In this project, your group will create a blog for the class to read, on a topic of your group’s choice. Blogs are a collaborative online tool that you to post personal reflections and analysis. You should focus on information that you, as a group, will enjoy researching and writing about. Each group member must write at least one piece of text for the site(min. 150 words).
Each group will produce a blog within Blackboard Learn, compiled from individual blog texts created by group members. Blogs contain blog entries (text, URLs, images, and attachments) as well as a comments section, with comments, remarks and responses to entries made by your classmates and instructor. Please incorporate photos and links into your blog, and comment on the other class blogs.
You will be assessed on your written work (the print-out of your short individual text from your blog, accompanied by a vocabulary list, source documents, rough drafts and list of references) and on your oral communication skills (both as individuals and as a group) as you briefly present your blog to the class.
Your individual blog posts should be enjoyable to read and visually appealing. Please try to include your own original pictures in your blog post, and attend to issues of copyright in the use of other images. It is also important to use as wide a range of vocabulary as you can– try to find and use new vocabulary items.
The oral presentation of your blog must be interactive. Make sure also that each member of the group has an adequate speaking role. At the end of the presentation, your teacher and classmates will ask a few questions about your website.
You must not read directly from your blog during the presentation Don’t worry if you get stuck and cannot remember what you intended to say: try to improvise or ask the others in the group to help you out. You can of course use prompt cards and notes.