Inquiry into enhancing reflective learning in an online language course
City and Guilds (Freelance Content Editor), Great Britain
In a learner-centered approach, lecturers constantly adapt their teaching methods to better suit their students’ goals and needs. City and Guilds examinations for speakers of other languages are high stakes language examinations approved by the UK Border Agency. An online examination preparation course has been developed that consists of activities and teacher presentations to help develop students’ language skills and improve examination performance. One of the aims of this course is to enhance reflective learning, using a teacher presentation of explanatory feedback after the controlled practice activity in the lessons. It is envisaged that this would provide an opportunity for students to identify gaps in language knowledge as well as re-balance any misunderstandings. The process would be similar to a situation in a classroom when students request explanatory feedback after they have completed a task. This paper presents the background to the course content, the learning framework of the online lessons and the format of the feedback presentations. Initial informal inquiries have revealed the feedback presentations are generally not currently prompting reflective feedback as evidenced by improved scores, as was originally predicted. However, all students were viewing the presentations consistently indicating that some level of knowledge consolidation maybe taking place. It may be possible that students are not fully aware of their purpose and the information contained is not always relevant to each particular individual student. Measures to address these issues are suggested and improvements to the learning experience are discussed.
Keywords: online, examination preparation, reflective learning, teacher role, feedback