Theme-based Invited Speakers

Ana Gimeno

Universitat Politècnica de Valencia, Spain (C6 – Technology Enhanced Language Learning)

“Do Massive Open Online Language Courses (LMOOCs) Satisfy Learner Needs?”

Judging from what we hear and read, there seem to be as many supporters as detractors of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). However, MOOCs are still a growing phenomenon and rely on technology to reach out to potential learners in populated cities as well as remote rural areas. Higher education in particular hasembraced this education “outlet” as a way to cater for an increasing demand for high quality online course materials to cover the needs of professionals who would like to engage in lifelong learning, and to satisfy the need to be at the forefront of educational developments and gain more international visibility. However, currently available MOOC platforms are in many respects limited in terms of courseware design and implementation as they are based on the template approach to software authoring. This limitation increases when we think of MOOCs that are intended for language learning – one of the most cognitively demanding disciplines learners can be confronted with. These MOOCs are commonly referred to as Language MOOCs or LMOOCs. Based on the Prof. Gimeno’s experience in designing four upper-intermediate level MOOCs for learners of English as a Foreign Language, which have attracted over 200,000 learners to date from 258 different countries, she will discuss the findings deriving from over 17,000 learner responses to a survey conducted longitudinally over a period of two and a half years to shed light on some of the factors involved in learner motivation, expectations and learning styles. Additionally, as lack of guidance and scaffolding are factors that can lead to learner drop-outs, she will discuss the solutions that were implemented to overcome these deficiencies. In line with this, as some of the more challenging areas in LMOOC design relate to providing opportunities for learners to practise speaking and writing skills, she will discuss ways of designing activities to support learner interaction and communication, considering that these must satisfy learners who come from very different educational backgrounds and cultures.

Biodata

Ana Gimeno is Full Professor of English Language in the Department of Applied Linguistics at the Universitat Politècnica de València, Spain. She is Head of the CAMILLE Research Group, devoted to research in CALL and has been project manager of several funded multimedia CALL research and development projects that have led to the publication of a number of language courses in digital format. In 2016, she co-authored the first Spanish as a foreign language Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) delivered on the US-based edX platform, which has attracted over 350,000 learners from around the world and in 2018 she published the first upper-intermediate English edX MOOC, which has attracted over 200,000 learners. Ana Gimeno is Associate Editor of ReCALL (CUP) and serves on the Editorial Board of Computer-Assisted Language Learning Journal (Taylor and Francis), as well as being editor-in-chief of The EUROCALL Review. She wasPresident of the European Association for ComputerAssisted Language Learning (EUROCALL) for 6 years (2005-2011) and is currently President of the world organisation for computer-assisted language learning, WorldCALL (www.worldcall.org).

Baltasar Fernández-Manjón

Dr. Baltasar Fernández-Manjón Complutense University of Madrid (UCM)

Systematizing Game Learning Analytics for Improving Serious Games Lifecycle

Game learning analytics is the collection and analysis of user’s gameplay interaction data to provide a better evidence-based insight on the educational process with serious games. The application of game learning analytics can provide a more data-driven scientific approach to improve all the steps of serious games’ lifecycle. These steps include not only obtaining a better understanding about players learning and what actually happens when deploying a game in an educational scenario, but also enhancing the earlier steps of design, implementation and the overall quality of serious games. However, there is still a long way to go as learning analytics in games are not yet widespread and, in fact, there are very few serious games scientifically validated. The talk will introduce game learning analytics, their possible contributions to improve serious games lifecycle and the requirements (e.g. data standards, ethical considerations) for their systematization and generalization in real educational settings.

Biodata

Dr. Baltasar Fernández-Manjón is a CS full professor (catedrático), and the leader of the e-learning research group e-UCM at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM). Holder of the Telefonica-UCM Honorary Chair in Digital Education and Serious Games and IEEE Senior Member. Former Vice Dean of Research and Foreign Relationships at UCM. In 2010-11 he was Visiting Associate Professor at Harvard University and Visiting Scientist at LCS Massachusetts General Hospital. He has participated in a number of EU projects related with serious games technology and its application in different domains (e.g. H2020 RAGE and BEACONING, FP7 GALA, LLP SEGAN) where his group has been in charge of the learning analytics applied to the games (e.g. xAPI application profile for serious games, uAdventure for the creation of narrative and geolocation-based serious games). More info at https://www.e-ucm.es/people/balta/

Jon Mason

Charles Darwin University (CDU)

Questioning and the Digital Environment

To date, the digital environment has evolved rapidly around three key genres of innovation: search, social, and smart. If we take stock of where we’re at right now then there’s a mix of potential drivers of change – where technology can empower and enhance our experience and productivity … or it can frustrate and disrupt it. There is therefore both an upside and a downside in each innovation. When it comes to one of the most basic questions we all ask as children trying to make sense of things – why? – we don’t yet have access to mature technologies that can scaffold this. This basic question is also fundamental to learning. This presentation will scan through some promising innovations that might inform the way we teach, learn, and research in the digital environment – and, not all these innovations are about technology. Moreover, ‘questions that matter’ are always contextual. Within these constraints, the question of how to facilitate questioning within the digital environment is the key theme explored in this presentation.

Biodata

Dr Jon Mason is an Associate Professor in Education in the College of Indigenous Futures, Education and Arts at Charles Darwin University (CDU), where he lectures in the broad area of digital technology in education. He also holds adjunct positions at Korea National Open University and East China Normal University. He first joined CDU in 2012 as Director of e-Learning for the Centre for School Leadership, Learning and Development and pursuing an earlier career at the nexus of government digital services, education, and international standardization. Since 2000 he has led delegations from Standards Australia to ISO/IEC JTC 1/SC36 and he has performed editorial roles for international projects, journals and books. He is an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Asia Pacific Society for Computers in Education (APSCE) and serves on several journal editorial boards. His research encompasses most things where digital technology and learning intersect while also pursuing a keen interest in question formulation, sense-making and the role of wisdom in education.