Thursday, January 24, 2008

Tentative Syllabus: Week 5

Managing Computer Mediated Writing in the EFL Classroom:

From E-mail, Groups and Text Chat to Blogs, Wikis and Messaging

Syllabus for Tips & Tricks Session, Week 5

Was: The Email-based Online Classroom

Evolving into: The Asynchronous Online Classroom: from E-mail [to Groups to Blogging] to Wiki ... and points beyond

Facilitators: Vanessa Vaile, Beyza Yilmaz

Contributors: Moroccan Teacher (and we hope more to come)


  • Email and associated features/tools
  • Blogging apps: Blogger; Typepad; Wordpress, Edblog
  • Wiki
  • Yahoo Groups (and others)
  • PPT
  • File sharing
  • Interactive (games, quizzes)
  • Online surveys/ polls


  • Tips & Tricks blog (Vanessa)
    • Open for comments posted in response to original posts
    • Tips group and others invited to join as guest contributors
  • Wiki (Beyza)
    • [for Beyza to fill in and elaborate on features and participation]
  • PPT on Wikis in the ELL class (Beyza)
  • Tools and features in existing T & T group
  • Links to online tutorials and other resources – posted on both blog and wiki

Objective: to explore and compare tools and applications for the asynchronous online class and asynchronous tech component of blended or hybrid

Brief description:

1) Describe and give examples of using email and other text based tech apps in the online and blended classroom.

2) Hands on participation using these tools and apps

3) Resource sharing and discussion

  • Telling: descriptive narratives of asynchronous class management strategies
  • Showing: presentations on blogs and wiki will run a blog and a wiki, both created just for this session.
  • Doing: hands on participation by teachers, ESL students, session visitors and participants
  • Reflecting: comments; impressions; discussion

Note: "lectures," materials, PPTs, links to recommended readings, assignments, activities, etc. will be posted on blog, wiki and/or tipstricks2008 yahoo group

Day 1: Introduction.

  • Characteristics of the Synchronous (Beyza) and Asynchronous (Vanessa) Classes
  • In the Beginning There Was Email.
  • Why write when you can talk?
    • Blended classroom
    • Online classroom
  • Text based tools for online and blended classrooms – a brief overview
  • Learning situations and the learners who use them. Who and what we teach when shapes how we teach and what tools we use.

Day 2: Course Management:

  • Role of the internet in managing blended or hybrid classes
  • Email based asynchronous classroom.
    • Rolling vs fixed admissions.
    • Open ended, ongoing classes vs classes with fixed start/end dates.
  • Self-paced CBI
    • Online
    • Computer Labs
  • Student attrition and retention.

Day 3: Applications, tools and resources for computer mediated writing.

  • Surveys [create and post link to online survey]
  • Comparison and evaluation: which applications fit which learning situations, learning styles, course materials/goals, and which complement one another, e.g. using email groups, blogs and wikis does not make email obsolete.
  • Synchronous elements in asynchronous learning

Day 4: Email and Groups

  • Associated tools and features

Day 5: Blogging and blog features (Vanessa)

Day 6: Wikis and other social networking tools (Beyza)

Day 7: Wrap Up Discussion.

  • Recapping: TWTWTW
  • What next? The future of asynchronous text based instruction in a world of virtual synchronicity.
  • Lead into Week 6


Ali Boumoussa said...

Hi Vanessa,
Wow! A wonderful agenda for week 5!
This is a very rich and varied program , but I am not sure one week would be enough to cover all the points you have sketched here.
Anyway, since you will be looking at writing online, I think I will go for listening and speaking in Week 4. How does this sound?

Vanessa said...


Good idea - and your week will make a good lead in. Compare f2f and online for listening and speaking sets us up to cover writing - maybe touch on reading.

How to cover it all in 1 week - ahhh.... I've thought the same myself/ I felt I had to make the change away from 100% online when Beyza replaced Svetlana since her classes, unlike Svetlana's, are blended and mostly synchronous.

Anyway, we've been logging in a lot messenger time over approaches and ended up deciding computer mediated esl writing as our organizing idea. There are so many workshops on how to use different applications that we won't need to spend time on how to.

I intend to cover a number of points with narrative + links + question/s eliciting comments. The hands on part can be using different text oriented applications to share experiences using the different applications - and tips.

We're already using email and groups. I started this blog. Beyza has ppts that we'll upload and link here and on wiki.

Beyza said...

Dear Vanessa and Ali,
It's a great idea to cover all four skills in two weeks rather than in a week.As Vanessa mentioned ,as we have different teaching contexts we can compare how we use these tools with our classes and elicit other ideas from the participants.I have another idea.Maybe we can use WIZIQ to make our sessions more interactive and to upload our powerpoint presentations.Do you think it's a good idea?
Best wishes

Ali Boumoussa said...

HI Beyza and Vanessa,

Great idea! I suppose we could use WIZIQ as well other tools whether we actually use them in our classrooms or not. One of the main objectives for me at this stage is to explore all available tools , particularly the free software brands ;-) .The main thing is for me is to think in terms of their potential use in different teaching/learning contexts.


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