|Since October 2015, I have been engaged in a team project with my colleagues in the World Language Sections of the VCU School of World Studies to revamp and revitalize our 202 language courses. The idea is to address the motivational bifurcation between students finishing a dreaded 2 year language requirement (the majority) and those who plan to pursue a minor or major in a language. The faculty decided on an OER platform to encourage both sets of learners to engage in autonomous learning activities, identifying what they are interested in in target language and sharing that with their class. For three years, we have been building our OER site on a WordPress platform at VCU called Rampages. Based on the student curations, a select group of faculty and students then create scaffolded OER modules based on themes typical of the 202 level curricula. The final curation targets how language study connects to various learners' projected professional aspirations with the idea that such a connection may encourage those 'finishing' with 202 to continue learning the language autonomously.|
I have organized, proposed and led 2 workshops (FLAVA 2016), 8 presentations (FLAVA 2016, 2017; UAEH in Mexico 2017; ACTFL 2016, 2017; MLA 2017, University of richmond, 2018; CALICO 2018, ), and 2 panels (OpenCon@VCU 2018 & OpenWeek@ VT 2018) presentations on the VCU FRLG team project on student-driven OER modules based on student-created curations of authentic materials online.
As part of our team project, I have offered several sessions on OER in conjunction with the VCU Libraries. For example, we had one session on copyright/copyleft and another on using H5P to create interactive modules. With the VCU ALTlab, we have frequent sessions on OER curation, WordPress blogging, site design, and most recently our development work for entirely OER online FRLG 202 course materials. These materials will include LinguaFolio Online, WordPress curations, teletandem sessions with native speaker partners, OER scaffolding lessons, and H5P interactive modules.
For students, we have clear instructions for OER curation on each of the language websites (eg., https://rampages.us/french2atvcu, Russian, Chinese, but Arabic is still a bit lacking). Additionally, in class, we teach the students about curating and OER and copyright.
Each summer, we hire through grant funds student researcher/developers who help us triage the student curations from the academic year, culling for the most appropriate (proficiency level, theme, relevance, student interest, pedagogical bases) that we then turn into scaffolded, interactive modules.
While primarily a postsecondary endeavor, it is reaching local high schools in Virginia as well as finding partners in countries as diverse as Mali, Belgium, Mexico, and Taiwan.