Reflection about EMI teaching

My (and my colleagues) ongoing EMI course aiming at develop master students 21st century competencies (e.g. collaboration, creativity and learning). Our course is blended learning course, which consist of  face-to-face lecturers, seminars, small group work, and independent study. In this year our virtual learning environment is Peda.net.

Primarily our students working together (both online and face-to-face) in small groups of 3-4 members in order to write theoretical and practical recommendation paper (to an external group of practitioners who are developing higher education to better meet the requirements of the working life) on a certain topic. They are randomly divided into the groups of 3-4 members and collaborated for writing task via web 2.0 technology i.e in shared Google Docs document. We have instructed students to follow a four phase script procedure, in which collaborative writing task is divided into the different phases in order to support students’ collaboration.

The structure of the our four-phase collaborative writing process (script):
Phase 1: Current problem > Regarding collaborative learning in university studies
Phase 2: State of the art > Look for theoretical ideas and/or empirical evidence that might be applied to the problem at hand.
Phase 3: Advantages > Evaluate what aspects of the theoretical ideas and/or empirical evidence can be well applied and which ones not.
Phase 4: Disadvantages > Theoretical aspects; Focus on critical points of view and/or empirical evidence.

At the beginning of the task each small group divides themselves into student 1, student 2, student 3, and student 4.  Then each student starts writing draft in a way that student 1 starts in phase 1, student 2 in phase 2 etc.  Working is based on rotation system, so after one week students change their “roles” in a way that student 1 change into phase 2, student 2 into phase 3 etc. Each small of their specific topic by utilising their main source and at least one additional source chosen by themselves (can be the source provided by the teachers). Students write their task in joint Google document following the scripted phases.

In summary, my main EMI teaching methods in current course are: small group work, scripted collaboration, technology-enhanced teaching and learning. In language perspective the course is demanding , because it’s combine both English and academic language. Also in students’ perspective the course is challenging, because students from different cultural backgrounds have to work, write and collaborate together for written document that need to follow academic language (written). Also our teaching method is demanding because it challenges students to collaboration and critical thinking. During our course it’s important to keep spoken English as simple as possible and repeat main points (e.g. the instructions for scripted working).

Kirsi’s first post

Hi TACE colleagues,

I’m Kirsi Heinonen and working as a project researcher in Faculty of Education and Psychology. My work consist of many responsibilities: e.g. I’m a digipedagogical support for our faculty’s staff. I have drifted into this position, because I have always been attracted by digital devices (since I get my first computer about 10 years old, at the time when computers were not so ubiquitous). In addition, I working within our eEducation project, called YouToo (supported by JY). In YouToo project our team develop altogether how to support students’ collaboration and grouping (i.e. getting common ground) in computer supported collaborative learning settings. In this autumn, my teaching with English and upcoming course (Lear­ning and 21st Cen­tu­ry Com­pe­tencies: Col­la­bo­ra­tion, Crea­ti­vi­ty, and Tech­no­lo­gy) related our YouToo project.  Up to now, in our project we have decided to support their grouping with gamified Kahoot-survey in the beginning of the course. In addition I’m working with my PhD, overall my research aim or question is “how to support teachers and students in technology-enhanced learning environments.

Before that I have do some blog posts (mainly related to some courses for PhD students), but I have always dreaming about blogging and setup own blog. But now I’m too busy to do that. May be some day. 😉

I’m looking forward our next Tace meeting – see you then! 🙂