Assessment of online reflections: engaging english second language (ESL) students

Article


Birch, Dawn and Volkov, Michael. 2007. "Assessment of online reflections: engaging english second language (ESL) students." Australasian Journal of Educational Technology. 23 (3), pp. 291-306.
Article Title

Assessment of online reflections: engaging english second language (ESL) students

ERA Journal ID20265
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsBirch, Dawn (Author) and Volkov, Michael (Author)
Journal TitleAustralasian Journal of Educational Technology
Journal Citation23 (3), pp. 291-306
Number of Pages16
Year2007
PublisherAustralasian Society for Computers in Learning in Tertiary Education (ASCILITE)
Place of PublicationPerth, Australia
ISSN1449-5554
Web Address (URL)http://www.ascilite.org.au/ajet/ajet.html
Abstract

Online discussion boards are increasingly being used by tertiary educators as a tool for encouraging greater student interaction and developing learning communities. In particular, educators who have adopted a learner-centered, socio-constructivist approach to teaching have sought to facilitate collaborative learning in which students reflect upon and share their experiences and perspectives, and construct knowledge together through developing shared meanings. In this paper, the findings of an electronic survey of the perceptions of 70 distance education EFL and ESL students concerning a compulsory assessment item involving contribution to an online course discussion board are presented. The study revealed that the majority of the students enjoyed the assessment item and agreed that posting to the online course discussion board had allowed them to achieve a range of cognitive and social learning outcomes, as well as, to develop some important graduate skills. In particular, ESL students reported the benefits of posting to the discussion board in terms of sharing their experiences with others and reducing the feeling of isolation. Further, when considering social outcomes, ESL students perceive the discussion board provided them with an opportunity to meet and develop a closer relationship with other students in the course and encouraged them to keep up with their studies.

KeywordsEnglish as a second language students; ESL students; online discussion boards; tertiary education; distance education students
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390108. LOTE, ESL and TESOL curriculum and pedagogy
470306. English as a second language
399999. Other education not elsewhere classified
Public Notes

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Byline AffiliationsSchool of Management and Marketing
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