Saturday, November 3, 2007

Comments on Karen's Website

Karen's Website 3-11-2007

Clearly you have a carefully worked-out plan to help your learners to learn more about art and history from your website. Your product is very successful and you give lots of interesting visual inputs (music, video, songs, pictures, dramas, and graphics) to motivate your learners to learn English. Your instructions are very clear and easy to follow. The materials are well-selected and your activities are highly-focused on your topic.

However, you didn’t mention your learner’s background, for example, EFL? ESL context or native speakers? As an EFL/ESL learner, I think some contents are too hard for me, let alone the year 8 to 10 students. Your learners should have a very high English proficiency such as reading skills, listening skills and some knowledge about art and paintings. Otherwise, they can’t achieve your goals. Art itself is abstract and it’s not easy to understand. I think your target audience are senior high students or young adults. They are interested in reading visual art or abstract things.

Regarding activities, you put a famous song about Van Gogh on your cloze exercise, it’s a comprehensible input for your learners and they can learn with fun. I think Year 8 to 10 students maybe like pop songs or popular culture things rather than classical songs. I played piano for years however I liked the pop music.

Just one more point, please check the wikipedia link (someimes it does work and sometimes it can't). Match 1 and 2 repeat.

Overall, you have done a good job! And I think you spent much time on creating such lovely product with varies and communicative exercises. However, from my point of view, you overestimate your learners’ abilities and their patience. I think some of your learners are finding your tasks very difficult, e.g. crossword and jumble exercise.

I love your ideas and I enjoy reading your website.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thanks for Yuki's late comments and my comments on her Website

Yuki's Website 31-10-2007

You designed a very attractive website. I like the background colour! Very soft and comfortable view! The materials and activities are well-selected and effective. All the links do work and pictures are nice.
I have some questions after reading your website.
You didn't mention the background information of your learners, such as their age and the level of English. I think your target audience are primary or junior high students. Young people are very interested in reading your topic and enjoy doing the activities. However, I read your blog and I realise that your target students are freshmen in the college (19-20 years old). If it's true then I think all the exercises are too easy and too brief (2 to 4 questions per activity) for them.
For example, matching activity is too simple, it would be better if you can use some long sentences instead or match the history of the sports. What do you think?
The cloze is not too hard, from my point of view, learners don't need 10 minutes to finish all the tasks, you might be underestimated their abilities.
It would be better if you can use drag and drop in the Mix activity.
In short, I like the Quiz exercise because you put the reading text together and the questions are interesting. Also, the crossword is well-designed and suits your students.

You did a good job!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Reflection on my project after reading classmates’ feedback

Thanks Billo, Zahran, Karen, Jennifer, Oscar, Nattythai, Jean and Molly for all your positive and constructive comments on my website. I will list the constructive feedback first and give my own oponion. Then I will list their positive feedback as well.

Billo: Your page is so full, I would think your students will get puzzled.
Zahran: You gave too many websites which may confuse the students.
Karen: Students having to do a lot of reading. If they have to read a lot, they might lose interest in the activities and not have as much fun.
Oscar: You put too much information on Hong Kong. Too much information sometimes de-motivates the students.
Molly: There is too much information for them to read.

I take their points. I put too much information on my website. Regarding 10 to 13 years old students, I am so demanding, students need much patience and pay attention to read through all the reading articles in order to complete the tasks. Students can develop their reading skills but not have fun. Some students may find the tasks beyond their abilities.

Zahran: You can put some home buttons in your activities to make it easy for students to navigate in your website.
Karen: I don't like the way the learner has to keep switching between the reading and the cloze exercise or quiz. I lose track.
Jean: When I did the cloze, I found I had to go back to the home page to open those links. Would you please consider adding hyperlinks to your instruction? That would be more convenient.

I agree with all of you. I think I need to put the links to the original text.

Zahran: I think you need to give some more clues for the crossword because I found it is difficult, perhaps you need to give some statements to make it easy for students to answer.
Karen: As a learner, I would prefer the crossword clues to all be visible not only when you click on the number. That way, I can scan the clues for something I know the answer to as a way of getting started.
Molly: I also think you should give students more hint in order to help them to finish the crossword.

They suggest a good point! I will add some crossword clues in order to reduce the difficulty of the task. I did not realize that the crossword was too hard. Only 12 animals’ name, some students may think it is not a big challenging task for them if I add clues.

Zahran: It is nice to give some animation but too many will distract students from focusing on doing activities.
Karen: I am distracted by all the animation, too many things moving. I believe it should only move, it is needs to draw attention to that spot.

I do not think I put too many graphics and animated pictures on my website. My target audience is primary school students and the moving objects could motivate them to learn.

On the other hand, I also obtained some kindly feedback from the above classmates.

Billo: Your content is fine.
Zahran: I really liked your website, it is really amazing.
Jennifer: You also have two listening practices (dialogues) for the learners. I like the mixed-up sentence exercises you designed because the photos and pictures you put on them make the learning more amusing.
Nattytha: What I love about your website is that a requirement that students need to read the texts, or listen to the dialogues about Hong Kong before doing each activity can give students more opportunities to improve their language abilities.
Oscar: Students read to write, or listen to write on your website. This seems a meaningful way of learning English.

Thanks again for all the nice and constructive suggestions. There are rooms for improvement in my website. From my point of view, WebQuest and Website projects can enhance my teaching and learning. Students may feel excited and motivated to learn a language if they think the activities and the tasks are interesting.

To start creating the above projects, I think one of the major problems was to decide the interesting tasks for students. I had to do much research on the related topic, so the tasks could be effective to the personal development of the students, and also interesting to students. Providing students with useful websites could increase efficiency. Students could focus on doing the tasks to consolidate their skills. It is hard to make a balanced approach between creativity and difficulty.

Through the WebQuest and Website projects, I learned how to use the dreamweaver to create a webpage, the flash marker to design some creative graphics and the hot potatoes to create interactive and communicative activities. It is said that learning by doing is a good way to acquire a language and skills. It is absolutely true! I have gained plenty of knowledge how to use IT tools in teaching English as a second / foreign langauge. All of these experiences are valuable and enjoyable.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Comments on Jean's and Jennifer's Websites

Jean’s Website 25-10-2007

Overall, your project looks great! You post the updated and the newest information on your website. Students are motivated in learning and doing the activities. All the activities are well-organised and the links do work. The pictures look very nice and the presentation is attractive. Mix exercises are very interesting.
The principal of your project is training students' reading skills, is that right?I think you assigned too much reading tasks for your students.
Here are some suggestions:1. Quiz: students read one article then answer one question. There are 6 in total! All the questions are the same but differ in animals' name, students can only search the keywords to answer the question but skip reading the whole article. It would be better if you could vary your questions. 2. Matching game was created the same problem. 3. One more point, your instructions are very clear in every section, however, the guideline of the crossword is not clear enough, I keep reading the article but I don't know how to do the crossword. It would be better if you can highlight some keywords, then students can learn or know how to locate the information. Learning sounds effective if you'd like your students to focus on some vocabularies.
In summary, I like the topic very much and I enjoy reading and completing the activities. Well done! Jean

Jennifer’s Website 25-10-2007

You did very well in this project. You create a very attractive and colourful website for grade 6 students to learn more about X’mas issues. Your students need to read 2 websites/articles in order to finish all the activities. They are so relaxed and feel no pressure to learn. For sure, they learn by doing and by fun.The purpose of your project is to learn X’mas vocabularies, is that correct? There are 3 vocabulary activities. Clearly, your students will obtain high marks in these activities. Your instructions are very clear and your students locate the keywords without failure. But why design 2 crossword exercises? I think 1 is enough. And you haven't created some MIX activities yet in this website? It would be better if you could design 1 or 2 mix exercises instead of the cross activity.
Overall, I'm happy to visit your website; there are some interesting articles to read and many moving objects to catch my eyes and very user friendly. All the materials are well-selected and highly focused on the purpose (vocabulary learning and reading tasks). As other classmates said, a conclusion section was one of the bonus points of your project! A lovely product, I like it very much!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Comments on Molly's and Nattythai's Websites

Molly’s Website 21-10-2007
Here are my "silly" comments on your website.
Overall, you did very well and the information on your website was level appropriate and motivate to your students to learn English. The content was informative and gave students a great deal of inputs (reading tasks, links and animations and activities). The screen was colourful and attractive! All the activities can work and the Match and Mix activities are very interesting. However, it would be better if you can limit the links on your website, I think too much and no titles and no clear instructions to the students. Crossword is so small compared to your huge website. One more point, I agree with Karen's point, there is too much animations on your page. Your target audience are junior secondary students, is that right? I think they are not very keen on watching so many moving objects. Primary students are another story.

Nattythai’s Website 23-10-2007
I think you are a "super fans" of Tiger Woods or a sport-lover of tennis. I think your students liked your project very much if they are interested in playing tennis or other sports. Good points of website:1. Very soft colour design in warm pink.2. Very clear instructions for your students and learners.3. The readings are very interesting.4. All the activities are highly related to your readings and the contents are well-selected and well-organised. 5. I like world idols Matching activity the best because all the words from the world idols are encouraging. Suggestions:1. the information in Tiger Woods's official website is huge. I kept reading but no more direction until I did the Sequencing and Quiz activities. In order to finish the activities, I had to visit the Woods website again and again. It would be better if you can give me some hints, such as must read the history of Woods or so on. 2. I gave up doing the crossword exercise because it's a big challenging job for me. 18+ questions were too many for me. What do you think? Keep limiting your questions. 3. One more point, it would be better if you can make activities template colourful. Overall, you did very well! I'm happy to give feedback to your project and I did all the activities pleasurably.For sure your students enjoyed learning all the materials from your website.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Comments on Billo's and Zahran's Websites

Billo's Website
Have you finished your website yet? You mention we can comment each unit, does it mean you will carry on posting the new information? Or only unit 5 can be accessed? Firstly, I think there was a typing mistake in the following sentence. I'm not sure; command is an old-fashion word, comment is better, is that what you mean? Secondly, I think you choose a good topic to discuss and I'm very interested in exploring more units. Will give you feedback later!

You did very well and you post additional new links on your website. It's very useful for your students if they want know more about AIDS and do follow-up. Regarding activities, students just finished reading Unit 5 and did all the activities. It would be better if you can vary them, for example, students read through unit 5 and complete activities 1 to 3. Read the other articles (links) then finish activity 4 or 5. This is my own opinion and suggestion.
I forgot one point, it would be better if you added the titles in front of the links, your students can choose the interesting one to read first. Also it will give them a clear instruction.

Zahran's Website
EXCELLENT product! I'm very interested in exploring more about your country. I think the students have the same feelings. Just a quick visit, you created a very attractive website and I'll spend time on studying the information and testing the exercises. I like the pictures very much! Well done!
I like the assessment part. It's a very important part for students to do self-evaluation. Great point!
I haven't finished all your activities yet. I tried the Mix and Crossword part. You designed activities were highly related to your reading information. I prefer the crossword than mix because there was no timer there. Although I did well in mix than crossword. You know why? The answer was- the timer made me stressful. I couldn't concentrate on my task. Finally I finished all the tasks on time and a bit earlier. Does it mean I am so smart? Hopefully, you said "yes". Will test another activities later!
I think there is one minor typing mistake in the following sentence:Marvellous Oman Activities is designed for EFl students not EF1 -- EFL is correct.

Overall, your website was informative and attractive to your students. I think students are interested in learning the activities and reading information. However, there are too much information for me to read in order to complete the activities. I forgot most of them. I think the Tourism Vocabulary Matching exercise was too easy for grade 12 students.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Rationale for my project

I'm so happy to finish my rationale paper finally! I'll submit it tomorrow. Then I'll focus on methodology essay and a reflection essay. Hopefully I can finish both of them on time!
PLD Celebration ! 25-10-07

Jean and Molly will go back to China soon! I'll miss them. Wishing you every happiness and success in your teaching job. Yuki, Enjoy your fantastic school days at Melbourne and hope you will find your way soon!