Before I cruise down to Austin for TCEA I want to catch up on a project I’ve been involved in. Some students are beginning to take a foreign language class online. This is a first time situation and as I have absolutely no knowledge when it comes to speaking a foreign language they are truly on their own as far as content and being accountable.
My part has been helping them learn the procedures that will allow them to complete the class. They have had to learn how to login and use Blackboard and an online workbook on Quia. They have also had to learn how to use recording software and save their recording mp3 to their folder. They then have to attach it as a submission on Blackbboard.
After the initial giggling over having to record with others in the room, they picked up on the procedure quickly. I’m cheering for them to do well on this experiment and I’m a little anxious about abandoning them for the week while I attend the conference. They are using free demo software called Audio Wizard. In the demo version you are allowed three minutes of recording time and it is very simple to use. They click one button and a box pops up that allows them to name their file and designate where to save it. As soon as they click save they are recording. They click one more button to stop recording. Another button lets them play back the recording and make sure it is just how they want before they submit. If they don’t like it, they just click remove from disk and start the process over again.
They stay in contact with the instructor via email so they recieve feedback and can ask questions. The submissions are graded and the grades are then up on Blackboard where they can also see announcements and future assignments.
I plan to stay in touch with them and the instructor by email while I’m at the conference so for us this is breaking new ground. It will allow us to stay connected and for me to offer some long distance support even if it is mainly moral support!