Lectures by BLC Fellows (Y. Baker, N. Wallace, E. Born, K. Vinall), May 2, 2014

Spring 2014 BLC Fellows Instructional Development Research Projects

Got Llorona?: Reflections on the potential to develop learners’ symbolic competence in the language and culture classroom
Kimberly Vinall, GSR, GSE
This presentation traces the development of my own reflections on symbolic competence and its potential to facilitate learners’ critical reflections on meaning making in the language and culture classroom. Using the popular Hispanic story of La Llorona as example, I first establish various theoretical principles of symbolic competence and then apply them to pedagogical practice through a discussion of specific teaching activities.
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Digital Textbooks: Emerging trends and practices
Erik Born, GSR, German
Will digital textbooks replace print textbooks as the standard material for teaching and learning languages? Will instructional design reach the point where computer-based learning systems do away with the need for instructors? Will continued advances in machine translation serve as further de-motivation for learning a language at all? To provide perspective on these questions, this presentation introduces four main trends currently emerging around digital textbooks: 1) adaptive learning; 2) predictive analytics; 3) programmed instruction; and 4) open educational resources. Through analysis of exemplary case studies, I argue that these trends signal a historical change not only in the meaning of textbook content, but even more significantly in the form and function of the textbook itself.
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Developing an Online Placement Test for the UCB Japanese Program
Yasuko Baker, Lecturer, East Asian Languages and Cultures
Noriko Wallace, Lecturer, East Asian Languages and Cultures
Currently, Japanese lecturers create and give 60-minute walk-in placement exams for new students one week before each semester starts. The lecturers grade each test manually, so the results may vary depending on how and by whom the tests are graded and various subjective factors. Therefore, the Japanese Program needs a more efficient and objective method for placing more than 100 students into the program. This project involved the creation and norming of a computer-based online placement test. We will report on issues we encountered involving the creation of questions, administrating the norming test, and analysis of the norming test’s results.

Friday, May 2, 2014
3 – 5 pm
B4 Dwinelle Hall

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