English Australia Journal : English Australia Journal 28.2
Volume 28 No 2 29 English Australia Journal added to the progressive developmental nature of the task. This is a task which involves Bloom’s higher order cognitive skills, requiring students to solve problems, to assess the value of ideas and theories, to verify evidence and to compare and discriminate. The task is rich as it integrates social, cultural and intellectual practice, it relates to the real world and it leads to outcomes of patent educational value. Aisha Alkhamiri reflected on this experience: ‘Creating our own website was a great opportunity for us to engage in more serious use of technology in the course in the field of education.’ The work addressed website elements, digital communication environments, materials and collaborative online exchange, all key areas of the course. It was especially important in this task that students be strongly involved in the evaluation of their websites. For the final assessment, the students’ websites were evaluated by a randomly assigned colleague, a nominated colleague and the professor. URLs for students’ websites and a copy of the website evaluation criteria developed and implemented by the students may be found in Appendix A. Practical assignment In keeping with the situated learning approach informing the course, students used their growing understanding about digital teaching and learning to complete practical projects. The projects were authentic, undertaken for AUS faculty to fulfill identified needs. Two teams established LibGuides*: one for the AUS Faculty Teaching Certificate program and the other for EDU307. One team of four students established a website for the MA TESOL Course ELT553 Technology in the Classroom and another three- member team established a website for the course they were studying, EDU307. The fifth team established and managed a discussion forum for a professor teaching an undergraduate writing course. These rich tasks built teamwork but, more significantly, they incorporated Zimmerman’s concept of ‘self-regulation’, the ‘self-directive process by which learners transform their mental abilities into academic skills’ (Zimmerman, 2002, p . 65). Self-regulated learners are ‘metacognitively, motivationally, and behaviorally active participants in their own learning process’ (Zimmerman, 1989, p. 329). To accomplish their goals, learners were required to set personal targets, to perform strategically, to monitor their progress, and to adapt their approaches where necessary. These skills are important for young professionals and for their future needs to be active lifelong learners. Zimmerman (2002) has identified a number of strategies for self- regulation which are connected to the individual and collaborative work which the EDU307 students were required to contribute to their practical assignments. These strategies included self-evaluation, goal-setting and planning, seeking information, keeping records and monitoring and reviewing those records.
English Australia Journal 30.1
English Australia Journal 28.1