The aim of the Tea Road Project was to modify the “pen pal” experience and allow Chinese and Australian students to open a dialogue, thus exposing the students to different cultures through modern mediums. Students created a podcast in Chinese about their “Life in Australia” and posted it on the Tea Road website for Chinese stuents to respond. - http://www.tearoadlearningjourneys.com/
Peer review and self-reflection
The premise of the Chinese podcasts was to promote peer review and self-reflection. Benefits for the students include:
- Particularly powerful resource for language teachers who are constantly expanding their personal language repertoire.
- Provide the opportunity to practise, experiment, innovate, self-correct and improve.
- Nurturing creativity
- Reducing plagiarism - recent discussions on student assessment has focused on ways of detecting and preventing inappropriate student behaviour and plagiarism. For this assessment taks, plagiarism is not possible because it is all themselves and creativity. Voice and styles of speaking are unique and easily identifiable.
- Authentic learning experience
Whilst the Chinese podcasts task was set in a different light the application of the skills could easily be adapted for the purposes of process-performance assessment tasks. The completed videos could be used as autonomous, self, peer and teacher assessed resources for students to revise and consolidate their prior knowledge.
Consider using other applications such as Explain Everything (similar to Screen Chomp and Show Me Everything) to develop videos which demonstrate student understanding.
The project was broken down into milestones to encourage students to plan, develop, revise and re-develop. The workflow also ensured students had manageable deliverable timeframes which assisted in keeping the students on track.
- Introduction - introduction to the project and airing of previous students work
- Plan (submitted)
- Brainstorming – Students were given a chance to discuss possible solutions to the project
- Storyboard – Students developed a visual storyboard to outline their plan. This was then presented to the class to help any students who were struggling for ideas.
- Script (submitted) – from their plan students developed a script which they would use when recording.
- Images - with a developed script and storyboard students were then able to frame and collect their photographs for the piece.
- Keynote (submitted) – The script and images were then placed side-by-side in a keynote presentation.
- Produce - Students used iMovie to develop their presentation and organise the timings to ensure they were in sync. Once they photos were in place they could record the voice overs directly into iMovie.
- Review (submitted) – students reviewed, presented and then evaluated their final product.
Within the evaluation stage of the project the students participating were asked to reflect and give feedback on how the project could had been improved from both the student and teachers perspective. In this session we would like to share the self-evaluation with you.
Advice to the Teacher?
- “Give the students time at the start to brainstorm in groups.”
- “The instructions for this don’t have to be “set in stone”. Let students be creative about what they want to tell you. Don’t control them too much.”
- “Give a wider range of sources, in class time, too make the videos, such as computers and cameras.”
- “Let the students do it independently and don’t give them too much help.”
- “Give the students likely words and phrases that they might use in the storyboard”
- “A very good project to expand vocabulary”
Advice to other Students?
- “I would plan your whole project before you start putting pictures and audio in.”
- “Branch out and be creative. Don’t just talk about the standard things, talk about other things the viewers will be interested in.”
- “Don’t spend too long editing and taking the photographs. Always do a rough plan before you start so you are more organised.”
- “Try to make the story interesting so that the audience is engaged”
- “Keep the movie simple and add a little humour”
- “Have lots of pictures and get creative!”
- “Turn the music down so you can hear what they’re saying.”
Do you think you managed your time effectively?
- “I felt I stayed on task throughout the project”
- “I found it easy to stay on task for this assignment. During class I was writing my plana dn doing my script and at home I put it all together”
- “I was ready to submit it on time – maybe I could have taken it a bit slower.”
- “I stayed on task well and worked productively”
- “I did some of it at home but it was worth the time spent”
Do you think this project is better done in pairs, small groups or individually?
- “I think it’s better if we do it individually because if we do it by ourself we would do more work and it’s easier working on your own”
- “I think individual is better because they won’t find time to do the recording in groups.”
- “It is better if we do it individually because different people in groups will have different opinions on the assignment”
- “Individually because people can stray off task in groups and individually the movie will be more personal”
- “Better done individually so everyone can give their own work”
- “I liked that we got to see everyone’s projects”
- “I really liked the part where I showed the class my storyboard”
- “I most enjoyed when I got to put it all together. This is because I was really happy with what I had created.”
- “I most enjoyed when I got to put it all together. This is because I was really happy with what I could have improved”
- “I most enjoyed doing the recording because I got to hear how my Chinese sounded and what I could have improved”
- “I enjoyed finding the pictures and putting the audio in”
Below are some areas which we have been exploring of how we can extend the podcasting within Chinese language. If you have any ideas of how you think we could better improve the teaching and learning experience we would love to discuss and explore them with you during this session.
- Writing Chinese Characters - exploring the ShowMe Interactive application for the iPad to encourage students to write a short sorry using correct chinese calligraphy strokes will dictating the story.
- Self-taught Resources - developing a series of student driven situation role plays in the Chinese language.
- Self-taught Cultural Lessons - videos discussing cultural lessons are often very corny. It would be fantastic to develop a series of cultural lessons where by students produce and edit discussions of cultural lessons which have been learnt whilst traveling in China.