Using Moodle Quiz to Create Language Consolidating and Testing Activities

Using Moodle Quiz to Create Language Consolidating and Testing Activities

Savvi Antoniou (Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus) and Salomi Papadima-Sophocleous (Cyprus University of Technology, Cyprus)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8267-1.ch002
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The recent pandemic outbreak (2019-2021) shed light on the practical difficulties of technology use in education and forced many instructors to seek training or train themselves in using technologies, including learning management system (LMS). During this time, we noticed that, although many tutorials are available, for example, to help instructors in the use of the Moodle LMS, these are mostly generic and do not focus on languages. Furthermore, there is a scarcity of papers demonstrating how to pair pedagogy with technology. In fact, only 1.1% of the papers published between 2006-2016 in ReCALL, CALICO, and CALL Journals deal with virtual learning environments (VLE). This chapter shows the case of two instructors who originally worked individually, and then collaborated in using Moodle Quiz for languages. Their quest in creating activities with constructivist characteristics is described; the knowledge, skills, and experiences gained are shared; the end products are displayed; and some conclusions are drawn.
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In this technologically immersed era, many higher education institutions ask foreign language candidates to be qualified in instructional technologies (Simon, 2008). It is expected from language instructors to have acquired the necessary technological knowledge that supports pedagogy and find the way to successfully implement it in a language class. It is true that Computer-Assisted Language Learning (CALL) is constantly gaining ground among the methods used today for language teaching and learning, as this is evidenced by the choice of many teacher-training courses to incorporate the use of technology, not only as a part of their syllabus but also as part of their pedagogy (Papadima-Sophocleous, 2012). For a CALL training course to be successful, there are three factors that need to be taken into account: the continuous changes in technology, the developing ideas about language learning and teaching, and the needs of the learners (Son & Windeatt, 2017). It is true that with effective implementation, technology can improve student outcomes (Grinager, 2006), yet demands that instructors to develop a range of technical skills. Many early language teachers are often challenged by all the theories and practices that underlie CALL despite the fact that they are familiar with technology (Gruba, 2017). Being familiar with technology is not enough to successfully implement it in a language class. Technological evolution speeds up exponentially, and for a language instructor to constantly be up to date not only with the technological but also with the pedagogical trends as well is really challenging. It is a paradox that many language instructors find it difficult to create their own CALL-based materials. The rapid development of technology along with the lack of training courses makes it a real struggle. In addition to this, there is a significant lack of related formal courses to attend, leaving the instructor with the choice of either attending more generic courses or following the “do it yourself” method (Kessler, 2006), something that is true even today in 2021.

Technologies can be used in education either as an adjunct to online or blended courses or as a means to deliver a completely distance learning course. As a matter of fact, Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) have been initially created for distance education. However, they are extensively used today as auxiliaries to online or blended teaching classes, a method called Blended Learning (Oproiu & Chicioreanu, 2012). There are different e-platforms available for the instructor to use also known as Learning Management Systems (LMS) such as Moodle, TelEduc, Blackboard, WebCT, Toolbook offering a wide range of features in order to create and structure courses (Lopes, 2011). With the right use by instructors, these LMSs can efficiently work in both Blended Learning Environment (BLE) and in VLE.

The key role in the successful implementation of any learning approach is played by the instructors (Comas-Quinn, 2011). Therefore, it is their pivotal responsibility to ensure that technological implementation will enhance the students’ learning and increase their motivation. Research has shown that learning in a virtual environment can lower foreign language anxiety; however, the use of such environments demands not only the instructor but also the learner to develop a range of technical skills (Grant et al., 2013). Learners may experience computer anxiety if they feel that they do not have these skills (Matsumura & Hann, 2004).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Moodle: Modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment.

BL: Blended learning.

ICT: Information and communication technologies.

ESP: English for specific purpose.

VLE: Virtual learning environment.

CALL: Computer-assisted language learning.

LMS: Learning management system.

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