Blended Basic Language Courses: Making Pedagogical and Administrative Choices about Technology

Persistent Link:
http://hdl.handle.net/10150/612402
Title:
Blended Basic Language Courses: Making Pedagogical and Administrative Choices about Technology
Author:
Anderson, Hope M.
Issue Date:
2016
Publisher:
The University of Arizona.
Rights:
Copyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
Embargo:
Release after 13-May-2017
Abstract:
Digital learning is becoming increasingly prevalent in colleges and universities in the United States (Allen & Seaman, 2013; Godev, 2014), including in the social field of second language learning. In larger language programs in particular, online and blended (partially online) courses are gaining popularity, such as the recently cited "hybrid revolution in Spanish-language learning" (Long, 2014, p. 1). Administrators look to digital solutions to tight finances, a lack of classroom space, and student demands. A current challenge in the field is helping instructors and students adapt to digital pedagogy and a new perspective: Technology provides innovative possibilities for instruction and interaction, not solely a distance replication of face-to-face courses (Blake, 2009, 2013, 2014; Goertler, 2011, 2014). To be successful, digital learning must include pedagogically sound course design and adequate support for both instructors and learners, requirements that may make this trend not as economical as originally believed (Godev, 2014).Responding to Hermosilla's (2014) declaration that "a pending task is to gather accurate data on existing hybrid Spanish programs in US colleges and universities in order to carry out comparative studies" (p. 3), this dissertation examines lower-division blended courses of languages other than English currently or recently taught at U.S. colleges and universities. The dissertation follows Wu's (2015) assumption that the courses appearing in the prior research literature might not be representative of the vast number of blended courses that now exist. The dissertation draws upon an original survey of 121 instructor and administrator participants representing 52 language programs and 13 languages, interviews with 21 of these participants, and surveys of 35 students in 4 participants' classes. Conducted using mixed methods and thematic analysis, the dissertation provides information about blended course designs so that other institutions can learn from them and emulate them. The study explores the choices that underlie the selection and development of curricula, materials, and technologies in blended language courses; student, instructor, and administrator perspectives on these courses; and support (training, professional development, and resources) available to participants. Most participants (98 in total) reported being very or somewhat satisfied with the current setup of their blended courses. Variables correlated with instructor satisfaction included a greater number of years of instruction (overall and in the blended format), instructors' amount of influence over the curriculum and materials, their choice of teaching blended classes, and the availability of technology training in their programs. Themes emerging from the interviews included an emphasis on the communicative approach, the use of textbook website packages and (in a few cases) open educational resources, a frustration with inadequate student preparation, instructor autonomy, and varying levels of support for instructors and students. Blended courses in basic language programs are best served when instructors choose their level of technological integration, contribute to the course design, and are offered preparation and support related to both technology and teaching methods. The study recommends ways that institutions, departments, instructors, and students of languages can make the most of digital pedagogy, not only in officially blended courses, but also in courses across the spectrum of technological integration, from fully face-to-face to fully online. Useful strategies include selecting and creating technological materials that align with the skills that instructors and administrators want students to develop, providing training and support for both pedagogy and technology to new and continuing instructors, and offering technological support to students. The lessons of this study are applicable not only to courses that are officially blended, but also to all language programs considering or evaluating new technological integrations.
Type:
text; Electronic Dissertation
Keywords:
hybrid; language learning; online learning; second languages; Spanish; Second Language Acquisition & Teaching; blended learning
Degree Name:
Ph.D.
Degree Level:
doctoral
Degree Program:
Graduate College; Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
Degree Grantor:
University of Arizona
Advisor:
Ariew, Robert

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.language.isoen_USen
dc.titleBlended Basic Language Courses: Making Pedagogical and Administrative Choices about Technologyen_US
dc.creatorAnderson, Hope M.en
dc.contributor.authorAnderson, Hope M.en
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.publisherThe University of Arizona.en
dc.rightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.en
dc.description.releaseRelease after 13-May-2017en
dc.description.abstractDigital learning is becoming increasingly prevalent in colleges and universities in the United States (Allen & Seaman, 2013; Godev, 2014), including in the social field of second language learning. In larger language programs in particular, online and blended (partially online) courses are gaining popularity, such as the recently cited "hybrid revolution in Spanish-language learning" (Long, 2014, p. 1). Administrators look to digital solutions to tight finances, a lack of classroom space, and student demands. A current challenge in the field is helping instructors and students adapt to digital pedagogy and a new perspective: Technology provides innovative possibilities for instruction and interaction, not solely a distance replication of face-to-face courses (Blake, 2009, 2013, 2014; Goertler, 2011, 2014). To be successful, digital learning must include pedagogically sound course design and adequate support for both instructors and learners, requirements that may make this trend not as economical as originally believed (Godev, 2014).Responding to Hermosilla's (2014) declaration that "a pending task is to gather accurate data on existing hybrid Spanish programs in US colleges and universities in order to carry out comparative studies" (p. 3), this dissertation examines lower-division blended courses of languages other than English currently or recently taught at U.S. colleges and universities. The dissertation follows Wu's (2015) assumption that the courses appearing in the prior research literature might not be representative of the vast number of blended courses that now exist. The dissertation draws upon an original survey of 121 instructor and administrator participants representing 52 language programs and 13 languages, interviews with 21 of these participants, and surveys of 35 students in 4 participants' classes. Conducted using mixed methods and thematic analysis, the dissertation provides information about blended course designs so that other institutions can learn from them and emulate them. The study explores the choices that underlie the selection and development of curricula, materials, and technologies in blended language courses; student, instructor, and administrator perspectives on these courses; and support (training, professional development, and resources) available to participants. Most participants (98 in total) reported being very or somewhat satisfied with the current setup of their blended courses. Variables correlated with instructor satisfaction included a greater number of years of instruction (overall and in the blended format), instructors' amount of influence over the curriculum and materials, their choice of teaching blended classes, and the availability of technology training in their programs. Themes emerging from the interviews included an emphasis on the communicative approach, the use of textbook website packages and (in a few cases) open educational resources, a frustration with inadequate student preparation, instructor autonomy, and varying levels of support for instructors and students. Blended courses in basic language programs are best served when instructors choose their level of technological integration, contribute to the course design, and are offered preparation and support related to both technology and teaching methods. The study recommends ways that institutions, departments, instructors, and students of languages can make the most of digital pedagogy, not only in officially blended courses, but also in courses across the spectrum of technological integration, from fully face-to-face to fully online. Useful strategies include selecting and creating technological materials that align with the skills that instructors and administrators want students to develop, providing training and support for both pedagogy and technology to new and continuing instructors, and offering technological support to students. The lessons of this study are applicable not only to courses that are officially blended, but also to all language programs considering or evaluating new technological integrations.en
dc.typetexten
dc.typeElectronic Dissertationen
dc.subjecthybriden
dc.subjectlanguage learningen
dc.subjectonline learningen
dc.subjectsecond languagesen
dc.subjectSpanishen
dc.subjectSecond Language Acquisition & Teachingen
dc.subjectblended learningen
thesis.degree.namePh.D.en
thesis.degree.leveldoctoralen
thesis.degree.disciplineGraduate Collegeen
thesis.degree.disciplineSecond Language Acquisition & Teachingen
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Arizonaen
dc.contributor.advisorAriew, Roberten
dc.contributor.committeememberEcke, Peteren
dc.contributor.committeememberDupuy, Beatriceen
dc.contributor.committeememberAriew, Roberten
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