1) Tell us how you are using Talis Elevate
This academic year I used Talis Elevate for the first time in my two Mandarin modules to increase in class participation; one module is for 2nd year language degree undergraduates and the other is for non-language degree students who take the beginners level for credits. The former is delivered in person and the latter is online. In a foreign language classroom, student participation is often associated with verbal contributions in the target language which no doubt impacts on their oral communication skills. Bearing in mind the barriers that affect student willingness to communicate, especially the level of target language proficiency, reliance on using the first language and level of self-confidence, I decided to create more channels to give students opportunities to ‘speak out’ without the fear of making mistakes in front of peers and Talis Elevate was one of the tools I used. I used it for different practice purposes, for example: reading comprehension, grammar practice, writing exam exemplary marking, etc.
2) What Impact has Talis Elevate had on your students?
Students’ feedback shows that they like the anonymous feature of Talis Elevate which allows them to participate without feeling be judged. They also like the fact that they can take personal notes alongside contributing to class notes. In fact, from platform reports, I can see that some students made more personal notes than class notes, and they are well engaged in tasks. Furthermore, students feel a sense of community when being able to read and correct others’ comments and learn from each other. Finally, they can always go back to the tasks with comments whenever needed to consolidate what they have learnt. It is worth mentioning that as the teacher I can assess students’ understanding of the knowledge from their responses and then provide appropriate, immediate feedback to address gaps in knowledge and clarify misunderstandings, which makes the class more student centred.
3) Can you give one piece of advice for someone using Talis Elevate
Talis Elevate can be used for both synchronous and asynchronous learning, however, my experience shows better engagement in the former lessons, possibly because students can get immediate feedback. Since Talis Elevate tasks normally require deep thinking, it is necessary to locate sufficient amount of time to allow most students to participate fully, especially in synchronous lessons.
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