The pair recently shared their experience applying educational technology in a task-based learning environment at one of the world’s biggest conferences for English language educators, TESOL Arabia.
They focused on a case study of a classroom project involving the production of an advertising video.
Ms Markis said students were asked to film a commercial about a product that they created.
“They had to conduct research through surveys, create a product and film a commercial to persuade customers to buy it,” she said.
Students used blended technologies such as Google Forms to create the class survey, Google Presentations to present the survey results, and video software to film the commercial.
After developing and pitching their product, students voted on which of their classmates’ creations were ‘most innovative’ and ‘most realistic’.
Ms Markis said regardless of the ‘winner’ in such a competition, all students had the opportunity to be creative while learning language skills.
Task-based learning environments, such as RMIT Vietnam’s English language programs, are conducive to the introduction of educational technologies, according to co-presenter James Block.
“Students bring to the classroom skills that they have developed on their own,” he said.
“When we recognise this, and empower them to use their technological skills as part of their study, students can become very creative.”
Activities, such as the pair’s video production project, focus on communicative ability and fluency, as opposed to accuracy, which is the main focus in a traditional learning environment.
Mr Block said as a result, students are encouraged to take risks in their language learning, and feel more confident and comfortable using classroom technologies.
“The project teaches students about creating and marketing a product,” he said.
“They learn about target markets and advertising techniques as well as develop technological skills.
“In terms of language, students learn about vocabulary and sentence structure used in question forms and advertising.”