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PRJ702 – Seminar 2 – 24 October

26/10/2013

Penultimate PRJ702 Blog Entry

What a seminar we had! Despite the exhaustion on everyone’s face, all seemed like they were enjoying their project.  Put another way, there was nothing else they’d rather do.

Keep in mind, the BIT students need to write about 15,000 words (I think) unlike the Grad Dip students with only 10,000 words. It’s probably nothing to a PhD student but it’s all relative, isn’t it? (My 6 yr-old son loves Fridays at school as there’s ‘no writing’ then. I’m not the right person to talk to him about writing and its virtues at the moment!)

I wonder if I had tweeted my research report, 140 characters at a time, would that have been acceptable enough to receive a pass mark? Yes, I realise it would have taken a lot of tweets but just a thought. Yes, I think  I’ll bring it up at the next blog entry 🙂

Back to the seminar, everyone is so close to the end. I think everyone, except me, will be graduating. Like Clare said, the PRJ is the signal that end is nigh. I have a fair bit to go yet but I’m certainly enjoying the ride. My journey of ‘geekhood’. I’ve read somewhere that until a person can make a computer do what he/she wants, then that person does not qualify to be a geek. What do you think? I kind of like that definition.

Where does my research project fit into this then? Can I make a computer do what I want? Probably not. But I’m definitely enjoying the process of applying technology to a learning environment. After all, isn’t that why the human race invented computers – to make things easier?

Ok, here’s the final outline of my report AND I won’t be changing it! I’ve officially got 5000 words, give or take 500 words, key words/ideas in bullet points. Surely, it’s just downhill from here, yeah right!

Title Page

Acknowledgement

Publications

Table of Contents

Abstract

Introduction

  • Advent of Technology
  • Language Exchange
  • MUVEs in Language Education

Background

Research Objectives (What are my research objectives???)

  • Learning Languages in virtual worlds
  • Learner Perceptions

Research Plan

  • Introductory paragraph
  • Problem description

Research Activities

  • Introductory paragraph
  • Participants
  • Data collection
  • What’s different from the Research Plan?

Results

Findings

  • Immediate feedback (students really like & appreciate this)
  • immersive education
  • interactive/communicative situations
  • real/authentic concepts
  • Community of Practice in SL
    • Camaraderie
    • Collaboration
  • technical aspects
  • difficulties in using SL

Discussion

  • summary of findings
  • implications for language learning in SL
  • limitations

Recommendations

  • language exchanges
  • collaborations:
    • to overcome the technical barriers
    • to locate/develop in-world resources
  • clearly defined learning objectives
  • allow ample time (to overcome the learning curve & prepare for the online environment)
  • regular reflection
  • learners – common interest, peer learning

Future Work

  • further research in integration of new technologies into current curriculum areas, rather than researched as separate entity
  • further collaborative projects between educational institutions, especially exchanges between L1 & L2 learners
  • further research in teacher perceptions

Conclusion

References

Appendices:

  • survey questions (link to the Google Doc)
  • video recordings of interviews (link to YouTube)
  • transcriptions of interviews (link to Google Doc)
  • SL locations: Cypris Chat, Virtlantis and NMIT Languages
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