Testing a CALL Effectiveness Model: Online Media Can Open New Learning Possibilities

Testing a CALL Effectiveness Model: Online Media Can Open New Learning Possibilities

John Paul Loucky (Seinan Jogakuin University, Japan)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0824-3.ch011


This chapter reviews developments in the field of CALL evaluation. It includes the implications of accepted CALL and computer-assisted second-language acquisition (CASLA) principles for improving instruction. It blends studies of thorough research with appropriate, good practice. It suggests how to build effective flipped learning programs and the questions to ask before designing or using CALL. It suggests pedagogical implications and areas for fruitful research into the use of richer CALL applications. Using accepted CALL principles, it provides a practical model for comparing and evaluating the relative effectiveness of CALL and Computer-Mediated Communications-enhanced language learning versus traditional printed texts and simple audio.
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Review Of Literature: A Review Of The Field With Insights And Challenges For Computer-Assisted Second-Language Acquisition Research

Clearly just as many tools are double-edged, with both helpful and harmful uses, such is also true about much online media. It can be used to educate or to recruit terrorists, and to teach positive or negative behaviors. This one is led to agree with the conclusions drawn by Karen Janowski (2008), that “It's not about the tools; It's about the possibilities.” Although many have emphasized that tools are secondary to the pedagogy, we must not lose sight of the reality that tools do make things possible, easier and more effective than when we do not have access to them. Among the possibilities that Computer-Mediated Communications (CMC) and CALL tools can offer are the ability to offer greater (1) differentiation or individualization in instruction, (2) greater engagement or active involvement in learning, and (3) better accessibility.

Among the kinds of enhanced engagement computerized media can make possible are such things as creating a podcast or video that demonstrates understanding and synthesis of the concept or content. Merely listening passively to lectures with print-based responses has set limits and can be boring. Far richer interaction can take place when students can also explore subjects by participating in online, interactive activities, and engage with the material by creating a project that demonstrates authentic learning. Accessibility for students limited by language, perceptual, or physical weaknesses can be much better when instruction is given in more personalized ways using assistive technologies. As Janowski notes:

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