Laura Loves Languages

A place for many opinions


Dr. Bakary Diallo, rector of the African Virtual University presented the learning architecture and e-learning solutions currently in use in educational institutions in 27 African countries.  Currently a blended mode of instruction is used incorporating Internet, CDs and mobile technologies. Access to higher education in Africa  is often adversely affected by economic issues, bandwidth, outdated curricula and teaching and learning methods. Open educational resources are at the center of the AVU conceptual framework which draws inspiration from promising practices from other areas of the world and adapt these  to an African cultural context.

Dr.Diallo announced plans to release 73 Math and Science & ICT modules prepared by Africans, working with organizations like the MERLOT Africa Network. 

Solomon Negash introduced the audience to the MERLOT Africa Network. This project is about developing partnerships with institutions of higher learning to collect content and share ideas.  he introduced us to eGranary, a  tool that allows users to use Internet sites on an intranet when a web connection is not available.

Infrastructure challenges are huge in Africa, according to Negash, but he encouraged the audience members to share his vision to think big and start small.

August 8, 2008 Posted by | e-learning | , | Leave a comment

Brief Hybrid Workshops: Live from MERLOT

Steve Gilbert, Ray Purdom and the TLT group presented on the 5 minute workshop. Faculty developers make 5 minute e-clips to introduce a new instructional strategy or concept.  These e-clips can be used alone, online and f2f. E-clips are easy to make and they are the central element of brief hybrid workshops which can be online or face to face. Here’s a blueprint for the workshops from the TLT’s site:

We looked at a video and did a very brief Think Pair Share which is part of the brief hybrid workshop, reacting to the content in the video. The final activity was an individual reflection on a 3×5 card to help the presenters refine their workshop and to help participants conceptualize the workshop.

August 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

MERLOT 2008- e-portfolios

First day of the MERLOT conference in Minneapolis and I’m in a session on e-portfolios done by  folks from the CSU system. I can definitely see the application of this type of project to show employers the competencies and skill sets our students have. For language students these portfolios can include work in the target language, showcasing their language skills and evidence of their cultural awareness through the posting of photographs, digital video and their own voice samples.  Many products are available for this work. Students can easily use a  blog format which encourages reflection on the part of students that reveal aspects of their personality to potential employer. The presenters showed various institutional e-portfolio solutions a few of which I ink beow.  In a video that they showed, one employer said that he felt like he knew a candidate before he arrived, based on his portfolio. The presenters spoke to the growing acceptance of e-portfolios by employers. Promising for getting known worldwide.

No more paper resumes!

August 8, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment