An Interoperable ICT Educational Application for TOEIC Preparatory Study

An Interoperable ICT Educational Application for TOEIC Preparatory Study

Yasushige Ishikawa (Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Japan), Reiko Akahane-Yamada (ATR Intelligent Robotics and Communication Laboratories, Japan), Mutsumi Kondo (Tezukayamagakuin University, Japan), Craig Smith (Kyoto University of Foreign Studies, Japan), Yasushi Tsubota (Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies, Kyoto University, Japan) and Masatake Dantsuji (Academic Center for Computing and Media Studies, Kyoto University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch236
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Background

Blended Learning Issues: A Definition, Learning Tasks and E-Literacy

Osguthorpe & Graham (2003) defined BL as a combination of face-to-face delivery with online delivery. However, there is still some confusion or rather, a lack of satisfaction with this definition that is apparent in the literature. As BL has evolved with ICT innovations, an unhelpful number of definitions and variations of single definitions have come into use, leading critics to comment that the BL concept lacks coherence; and thus, research for BL development and training is ‘inconsistent’ and not useful (Oliver & Trigwell, 2005).

A second issue has arisen from BL’s flexibility in its combination of face-to-face teaching and online delivery of learning tasks. What are effective blends of these two basic modes of presentation? Teachers need guidelines to help them determine what skills are required by students so that they may successfully engage with both elements of the materials. Moreover, many of today’s students may use more technology in more ways than any previous generation, but that does not mean that they are necessarily aware of its learning potential or that they are able to use it efficiently for learning (Deutsch, 2010). Academic e-literacy should not be taken for granted.

Motivation within Blended Learning

The attrition rate, often cited as high for BL courses and an indicator of low motivation, is actually sometimes lower than, or similar to, that of face-to-face courses. Potentially, with the comparatively flexible nature of BL in terms of time and space constraints, and as course design improves driven by the financial benefits of lower delivery costs, the attrition rate could become significantly lower than other delivery systems (Bonk & Graham, 2004).

Research studies have also pointed out areas for consideration in regards to the different types of motivation people have, and how individual motivational factors can vary in BL as time and space limitations are reduced (Auld, Blumberg, & Clayton, 2010). Andrade and Bunker (2009) advocated the need for affective strategies to handle negative emotions during distance learning.

The flexible nature of BL also appears to be a key factor in student motivation because students are able to learn when and how they choose, factors which give them control over, and responsibility for, their own learning.

Facilitating Blended Learning for Different Learning Styles

Akkoyunlu and Soylu (2008) applied the Kolb Learning Style Inventory to a BL model and focused on two types of learners – divergers and assimilators. Divergers respond more to concrete experiences, contact with peers and teachers, and find it difficult to learn online. Assimilators prefer lecture learning, respect the knowledge of experts, and benefit from reflection. Divergers are seen to be more active than assimilators. Although both are goal orientated, assimilators tend to seek goals from their instructor. They found that catering to individual learning styles resulted in a higher level of retention, and more success with the development of self-regulated learning (SRL).

Lim and Morris (2009) showed that if learning plans are more inclusive to multiple learning styles the learner centeredness of the delivery is enhanced, which results in more active learners. Moreover, BL has the capability of being adapted to suit individual learners on multiple levels (Schmidt, 2007).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Test-Wiseness: Test-wiseness is a capacity to utilize the characteristics and format of the test and the test-taking situation to achieve success.

Blended Leaning: Blended learning in this article is defined as a combination of in-class activities with outside-of-class activities integrated in a single learning environment by ATR CALL BRIX, an interoperable ICT educational application for TOEIC preparatory study.

Academic Learning Cycle: An academic learning cycle contains three phases: forethought, performance control, and self-reflection.

Interoperability: Interoperability is the capacity of ATR CALL BRIX to create a single learning environment in which university students who are trying to improve their TOEIC scores and EFL teachers can collaborate in a learning enterprise.

Can-Do Statements: Can-do statements are defined as descriptions of the competence of an individual language user.

The Five-Step Learning Module: The five-step learning module was organized according to the principles of the phases of a continuous academic learning cycle in order to foster students’ SRL practices.

Self-Regulated Learning: Self-regulated learning is a set of proactive processes that students use to acquire academic skills, such as setting goals, selecting and deploying strategies and self-monitoring one’s effectiveness.

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