Blended learning in large multisection foreign language programs: An opportunity for reflecting on course content, pedagogy, learning outcomes, and assessment issues

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2012-01-01
Authors
Young, Dolly Jesusita
Pettigrew, Jason Lee
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Heinle Cengage Learning
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2012
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92
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136
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From the new millennium to the present, colleges and universities have experienced increased pressure by government-funded agencies, academic administrators, and the technology industry to integrate technology into higher education for the purpose of reducing instructional costs. On the surface, the concept of blended learning (BL) may appear apparent, but actual application is complex, particularly for large multiple section foreign language (FL) elementary and intermediate university-level programs. Few published accounts exist that examine issues of curriculum and pedagogy as these play out in BL instruction in this context. This chapter documents the evolution of BL up to the present time, surveys past and present BL programs across the nation, considers the discourse present in disseminating information about them, and gleans characteristics of the programs based on the available public and published documents. In an effort to move beyond the current discourse used to describe BL instruction in this context and as a way to reflect on curricular and pedagogical issues, we examine the variables, processes, and considerations that go into redesigning a large multisection Spanish course at this level. Our purpose is not to provide a model for curricular and pedagogical decision making in BL instruction for elementary or intermediate FL programs but to reflect on the unique contexts in which curricular and pedagogical issues are considered. Without curricular planning and careful consideration of pedagogies, we cannot adjudicate whether and how BL instruction should or can be judged positively. Without reflection on the various contexts and pedagogies, programs will be reacting to outer circumstances rather than reflecting deeply on issues pertaining to adult instructed language learning.
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Young, D.J., Pettigrew, J.L. (2012). Blended learning in large multisection foreign language programs: An opportunity for reflecting on course content, pedagogy, learning outcomes, and assessment issues. The American Association of University Supervisors, Coordinators and Directors of Foreign Languages Programs (AAUSC), 92-136. http://hdl.handle.net/102015/69712
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