In her beginner-level French and Italian language courses, Carmela Faraone uses an application called MeetingWords (and had previously used Moodle Forum) to create documents where her students can write collaboratively and edit, or comment upon, each other's work. This encourages the students to work together, interact with each other in a foreign language, and learn from each other's mistakes and language uses. Carmela Faraone incorporates MeetingWords collaborative writing exercises as ungraded tasks that could improve student engagement.
Carmela Esposito Faraone, SMLC
- The tutor sets up a document on MeetingWords (or Moodle Forum or a similar alternative) and chooses the subject about which their students will have to write a collaborative text. The tutor can control several aspects of the application: for instance, they may choose a custom font or turn the author-identifying text colour on or off. They may also write the first entry to make it easier for the students to begin writing.
- The tutor then invites their students to the MeetingWords page via the link. They may choose to simply post the link on Moodle, or in the MS Teams chat; however, they may alternative create and print out a QR-code if they are teaching an in-person class.
- The tutor announces the topic of the writing exercise and encourages the students to interact with each other's writing on the application by editing or commenting on it via the chat box.
- Once the students are finished with the writing exercise, the teacher can assess it (without grading it) not only as a single text, but also as a collection of individual contributions, which can be viewed using the 'timeline view'.
Normally, students don't find it easy to edit each other's work... because they find it 'not right'. ... So, I have to find ways for them to work collaboratively.
I’ve found that learning [a language] online has been really, really difficult because, especially for language learning, to get it properly … ingrained, you have to be there in person and … interact with other people in person.