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E-Winter School Dubai Women’s College

E-Winter School Dubai Women’s College A Blended Online Remedial English Course Introduction What? Who? Why? How? (Distinguishing Features, Examples) The Story So Far. Into the Future What ?

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E-Winter School Dubai Women’s College

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  1. E-Winter SchoolDubai Women’s College A Blended Online Remedial English Course

  2. Introduction • What? • Who? • Why? • How? (Distinguishing Features, Examples) • The Story So Far. • Into the Future

  3. What? • A full time, 17-week, blended on-line remedial English language skills and development course, making intensive use of online quizzes, assessments and writing tasks. • Blended = A combination of on-line and face-to-face learning.

  4. Who? • Students who did not pass Semester One English at first attempt. • Participants include Business, IT, Health Science, Paramedic & Communication Technology students. • Students Who Have Challenged out of Foundations • Douglas McPherson and Kevin Kempin. (Ushers)

  5. Why? • To offer students a college option, as opposed to sending them to an external education provider. Thus, to improve retention rates. • To maintain/improve language skills. • To build confidence and ability for Semester 1 re-entry.

  6. How? –Distinguishing Features • Initial orientation week, focusing on information and file management • Daily, on-line tasks with non-negotiable deadlines • On-going, cumulative assessment • Coverage of the main skill areas (Reading, Listening, Grammar, Vocabulary, Writing) • Focus on weaker areas: Writing and Grammar • “Zero-tolerance” for error with controlled writing, (main area of weakness). Opportunity for “freer” writing. Exchange with Japan • “LOAF” Approach. Little Often And Focused; Limited Output And Focused.

  7. Daily, On-line Tasks With Non-Negotiable Deadlines • Extrinsic motivation is important. • Students compelled to work on a daily basis • Deadlines set on the computer • Tasks, (quizzes and submissions) were not available after 6.30 PM. • Phone and email support available until 6.30 PM daily.

  8. Focus On Weaker Areas: Writing And Grammar • Insistence on students learning “meta-language”, (grammatical terms). Support for this provided by Tense Buster software, (installed on the students’ laptops), and the HD1 English Website. • Intense process writing. Students unable to proceed until they had perfected previous writing, (in some tasks) • Students asked to log areas of weakness.

  9. “Zero-Tolerance” With Controlled Writing • Sentences earn marks only if totally error free. • “Error free” means no mistakes in grammar, punctuation, or spelling. Sentences must also convey meaning. • “ Green sheep sleep furiously,” = 0 marks. • Students, in some tasks unable to proceed until previous writing fixed, and errors identified.

  10. Exchange with Japan • A bulletin board exchange with students at Ibaraki University in Japan. Students paired. • “Publication Standard”; Students, research and process write until writing is “error free”, then post on bulletin board. -Tightly controlled. • “Free Response”; Students expected to respond to their partner in Japan, ask and answer questions. • Exchange hosted on a different site, “Dougie’s Online Learning”, site

  11. “LOAF” • Focus on quality not quantity. • As skills grew so did output – controlled growth. • Builds confidence.

  12. A Typical Week.

  13. Controlled Writing.

  14. Points to note. • Extrinsic Motivation is important. • Expectations of students need to be explicit, clear and understood. • Work load – high/designing, teaching, marking, mentoring as we went /one week ahead. • Japan – exchanges with Japan to continue. • Student grade book in WebCT CE: very cumbersome. • Backup your course regularly

  15. The story so far… • Students have shown clear improvement, especially in work habits and writing skills. • Feedback: overwhelmingly positive from both students and faculty. • Positive interest and feedback from other colleges and other institutions. • High retention rate: 29/31 students, as opposed to 5/31 in the previous year.

  16. Student Feedback • There are many things that helped me to learn in this semester. For example, the reading, grammar, responsive writing, etc, but the most thing that really helped me is the grammar and the writing.

  17. Student Feedback 2 • We learn many things in this course, such us my grammar had improved because we did a lot of quizzes and also the teacher had taught us when we have to use the tenses. Moreover, my spelling had improved and I learnt a lot of a new vocabulary. Last of all, I think that from this course I had improved immensely especially in weakness skill writing.

  18. Student Feedback 3 • This course helped in developing my writing and grammar. Recently I realized that i am using new vocabulary words I had never used it before.

  19. Outcomes • E-Winter School Graduates are Successful. • Various Spin-off Courses.

  20. Success Rates: DWC HD1 Deferred Students • 2003: 31 Students Deferred and Sent to Outside Providers • 6 Returned to College • 2004: 31 Students Deferred and Enrolled in E-Winter School • 30 Returned to College • All are Successful • 2005: 42 Students Currently Deferred and Enrolled in E-Winter School

  21. E-Winter School Students: Retention

  22. Spin-off Courses • Afternoon Endeavors: Working, PM Students • Writing and Reading Support Programs, for currently enrolled “At Risk Students”; • Section 1 • DWC HD1 WebCT English; General Resources • Japanese Exchange

  23. Key Strategies & Leverage • Use of HD1 Website as Repository • Use of Respondus to Create Quizzes, Once, Publish to Many Sites • Database Model; Learning Objects

  24. The Future • E-Winter School graduates are flagged and their future results monitored. • The E-Winter School will be repeated next semester. Our primary aim is to leverage what we are doing, and to do it better. • We are looking at ways of enabling other colleges to access and use these course. • Incorporation of a greater multi-media component, not in terms of the actual interface, but in terms of stimuli and learning object. Question Stems and Feedback. E.g.. Rosetta Stone. • Vista; Key Weakness in Grade Book

  25. Any Questions? • Doug, Douglas Dougie McPherson douglas.mcpherson@hct.ac.ae 04 2089 557 • Kevin Kempin kevin.kempin@hct.ac.ae 04 2089 507 This PowerPoint display available on E-Winter School Website: Login & Password 5678

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