Implementation of Cooperative Learning Strategies to Create 3D-Videos in EFL Teacher Training

Implementation of Cooperative Learning Strategies to Create 3D-Videos in EFL Teacher Training

Cristina A. Huertas-Abril (University of Córdoba, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-1662-1.ch002

Abstract

This chapter deals with the implementation of a teaching innovation in the context of higher education, based on the creation of 3D-videos through the use of cooperative learning and the development of digital teaching competence in English as a foreign language teacher training. Specifically, this methodological proposal is situated within the framework of the course Foreign Language for Primary School Teachers (English) of the Degree in Primary Education at the University of Cordoba, Spain, and it has been implemented in three academic years (2016-17, 2017-18, and 2018-19). The most important result of this study is that CL strategies develop pre-service EFL teachers' engagement in learning and improving their knowledge on English and enhance their digital competence while reducing the achievement gap with lower-achievement pre-service teachers thanks to heterogeneous groups. Nevertheless, this process of teaching innovation highlights that there is still much to be done to maximize the impact of cooperative learning in foreign language teaching-learning processes.
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Introduction

This chapter deals with the implementation of a teaching innovation in the context of Higher Education, based on the creation of 3D animation videos through the use of cooperative learning and the development of digital teaching competence in English as a Foreign Language Teacher Training. Specifically, this methodological proposal is situated within the framework of the course “Foreign Language for Primary School Teachers (English)” of the Degree in Primary Education at the University of Cordoba, Spain, and it has been implemented in three academic years (2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19).

In the field of language learning, teachers frequently need to deal with different levels of students, and it is not always easy to look for a solution to the problem. How to close the achievement gap in the classroom is consequently one of the most important issues today.

Therefore, this educational innovation proposal is based on two key concepts: a) cooperative learning strategies (Johnson, Johnson and Holubec, 1999) to engage all EFL pre-service teachers, and b) the development of digital teaching competence (INTEF, 2017) in pre-service EFL Primary teachers. The combination of these two components is crucial, since the success of the integration of ICT in language learning depends on the ability of teachers to develop socially active classrooms where cooperative learning is encouraged (Cortés, 2016).

Digital tools are currently a new form of interactive content which play an essential role in both collaborative and cooperative learning. Game-based digital resources can engage and motivate students/players in a constructive, enriching learning environment (Admiraal, Huizenga, Akkerman, & ten Dam, 2011; Hung, Young, & Lin, 2015; Ravenscroft & Matheson, 2002; Smith, Majchrzak, Hayes, & Drobisz, 2011). Moreover, digital competence is essential for pre-service and in-service teachers:

Developing digital competence in the education system requires a correct integration of ICT in the classroom and teachers that have the necessary training in that competence. The latter is probably the most important factor for the development of a digital culture in the classroom and to ensure that the education system is in tune with the new ‘network society’. (INTEF, 2017, p. 5).

Therefore, based on the pedagogical framework of cooperative learning, this study developed a game-based proposal integrated into English as a Foreign Language (EFL) in compulsory pre-service teacher training with three main objectives: (i) to improve pre-service teachers’ academic performance in the English language by increasing their motivation and fostering their creativity; (ii) to reduce the achievement gap for lower-achievement pre-service teachers with Cooperative Learning; and (iii) to make pre-service teachers aware about the advantages and challenges of introducing technology in EFL lessons.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Digital Content Creation: Key area of the Common Digital Competence Framework for Teachers which includes developing digital content, integrating and re-elaborating digital content, copyright and licenses, and programming.

Cooperative Learning: Learning process where students work in teams or groups in a structured way, so that students and groups help one another to get the best results for all of them while developing social skills along the process.

Individualistic Learning: Learning process where each student works on their own. There is no interaction among the students, nor interrelationship of the achievements.

Positive Interdependence: Learning situation where interaction among students enhances effort and working together, as the objectives can be achieved if – and only if – all the students achieve them. In this context, every one encourages and facilitates other students’ effort.

Plotagon: Free animation software for Mac and Windows to create characters and 3D-Videos. Plotagon includes over 200 backgrounds, and numerous features to personalize the characters and the scenes. Videos can be exported as MP4 video files up to 4K resolution and with embedded subtitles.

Competitive Learning: Learning process where students or groups of students work in opposition to one another, using the intrinsic motivation to win and be better than the others.

Common Digital Competence Framework for Teachers: Tool for the assessment and guidance of teachers’ digital competence, developed by the Spanish Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport. Adapted from the European Digital Competence Framework for Citizens and the European Digital Competence Framework for Educations, the framework of reference is divided into five competence areas: 1) information and data literacy, 2) communication and collaboration, 3) digital content creation, 4) safety, and 5) problem solving.

Digital Competence: Key competence for the current globalized society. It involves the confident, safe and critical use of Information Society Technology (IST) for work, study, leisure and communication. It includes then basic skills in the use of IST, namely: the use of digital devices to retrieve, assess, store, produce, present, communicate and exchange information, as well as to participate in collaborative networks online.

Negative Interdependence: Learning situation where interaction among students is of opposition, as they can only achieve their own objectives if other do not achieve theirs. This may cause students to decrease motivation and/or to hinder the efforts of others in order to reach their goals.

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