A Case Study of Infusing Web 2.0 Tools for Blended Learning: Virtual Presentations as an Alternative Means of Assessment

A Case Study of Infusing Web 2.0 Tools for Blended Learning: Virtual Presentations as an Alternative Means of Assessment

Yiu Chi Lai (The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong) and Eugenia M.W. Ng (The Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-0011-9.ch401
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Abstract

In the era of Web 2.0, students are not restricted to search and collect information from existing Internet resources. They are expected to be able to collaborate, create, and share new information on the Web through different tools. On the other hand, students of this era are also familiar with sharing multimedia contents on the Internet. We can also observe that presentations are not limited to face-to-face and university students should be able to present virtually using multimedia technology. It seems that Web 2.0 tools open another space for the assessment modes for teachers. This study aims to describe an innovative practice of having two groups of student teachers conducting a virtual presentation about their final assignments, which could either be videos or other digital formats. One group of students was final year undergraduate while another group consisted of post-graduate Diploma of Education student teachers. For the purpose of the study, the virtual presentation materials were uploaded to a learning management system (LMS) platform to enable the two different classes to comment each other’s work within one week. Thereafter, the data collected from tracked statistics provided by the learning platform and students’ reflections of this interclass activity were analyzed and compared with each other. It was found that most of the participants were positive about this new presentation approach and ready to accept it as a part of the assessment. However, the undergraduate students were more active in participating in virtual presentations of both classes. Furthermore, their attitudes were influenced by the tutors’ participation. Thus, it is suggested that tutors involved in virtual presentations should play an active role and give encouragement to their students regularly.
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Literature Review

The traditional mode of learning requires rote learning facts and procedures and, thereafter, learners are assessed for their command over the content and the knowledge they have acquired. Vygotsky (1978) was amongst the pioneers who suggested a constructivist approach to learning which emphasized learning through social interaction, which included social relations and interactions with social artifacts such as linguistic symbols, to enable individuals to construct new knowledge from their experiences. Bruner (1986) believes that learning is an active social process in which learners construct new ideas of concepts based on current knowledge. Lave and Wenger (1991) regard both the physical as well as the social environment as being crucial to the learning process. Jonassen, Peck and Wilson (1999) argue that learning is more engaging and interesting when learners are stimulated by sounds and images. Furthermore, Jonassen, Howland, Moore and Marra (2003) suggest that technologies such as video, hypermedia and the Internet are excellent tools to learn with. Their emphasis is on problem solving and they address how the Internet can be used to foster community building. Oliver (2007) points out the needs to redesign technology integration course to leverage new Web 2.0 tools that have been created with web collaboration, sharing and/or new information creation in mind.

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