Научная статья на тему 'FLIPPED ESP CLASS: A SOLUTION FOR DEVELOPING READING SKILLS'

FLIPPED ESP CLASS: A SOLUTION FOR DEVELOPING READING SKILLS Текст научной статьи по специальности «Науки об образовании»

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Ключевые слова
ESP / reading / flipped class / technical solution / algorithm / stages / Wizer.me

Аннотация научной статьи по наукам об образовании, автор научной работы — Kornytska Yu.

Developing reading skills is one of the main goals in the university ESP class since nowadays students have to process substantial amounts of information in academic settings and throughout their future career. The current shift in high education paradigm challenges teachers to refocus their teaching strategies and adopt new approaches to make the learning process rewarding in the modern context. Flipped class approach is claimed to have a great potential to provide a refreshing view for the ESP teaching and bring the learning process the new level of efficiency. Recent researches report a generally positive impact of the model on students learning outcomes, attitudes and level of satisfaction compared to the traditional models. However, developing reading skills and utilizing textbased activities are not very common in a flipped class model since it is highly associated with video. The lack of clarity about feasibility of this mode for developing reading skills and low technical expertise are among the most common reasons why teachers are hesitant to adopt flipped class model in their practice. The current paper presents the implementation algorithm of flipped reading for an ESP course. In addition, the possible option addressing the lack of technical expertise is described. As a technical solution, the platform Wizer.me is presented in the current paper. The platform offers free tools for designing interactive reading worksheets and provides special features such as adding audio content, video, links and images to the worksheets. The service enables teachers to gain insights on the students’ progress and status and offer a feedback. Special features offered by the platform allow approaching each student individually and give good opportunities for students’ self-analysis as a crucial component of developing the skills of reflection and critical evaluation. Having user-friendly interface the Wizer.me platform is available to use by the teachers with the basic level of computer literacy.

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Текст научной работы на тему «FLIPPED ESP CLASS: A SOLUTION FOR DEVELOPING READING SKILLS»

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СПИСОК Л1ТЕРАТУРИ:

1. Working Together for Child Protеction in Tayside. (Inter-disciplinary guidelines for professional staff)/ The Tayside Committee for Child Protection. -Dundee, 1994. - 102 р.

2. Herrenkohl R. The definition of child maltreatment. Child Abuse and Neglect. - 2005. - No 29 (5). - P. 413-424.

3. Homor G. Child sexual abuse: consequences and implications. - Journal of Pediatric Health Care. -2010. - No 24 (6). - P.358-364.

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5. Altgate J. Adolescents in Foster Families. -London: Batsford, 2008. - 183 p.

6. Романовська О. О. Фостерна ам'я Велико1 Британп як сощально-педагопчне середовище тд-тримки особистосп дитини: Автореф. дис. канд. пед. наук: 13.00.05. - К., 2002. - 20 с.

7. Maccoby E., Martin J. Socialisation in the context of the Family. - Chichester: Wiley, 2003. -195p.

FLIPPED ESP CLASS: A SOLUTION FOR DEVELOPING READING SKILLS

Kornytska Yu.

Ph. D. (Education), Associate Professor National Technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute "

Abstract

Developing reading skills is one of the main goals in the university ESP class since nowadays students have to process substantial amounts of information in academic settings and throughout their future career. The current shift in high education paradigm challenges teachers to refocus their teaching strategies and adopt new approaches to make the learning process rewarding in the modern context. Flipped class approach is claimed to have a great potential to provide a refreshing view for the ESP teaching and bring the learning process the new level of efficiency. Recent researches report a generally positive impact of the model on students learning outcomes, attitudes and level of satisfaction compared to the traditional models. However, developing reading skills and utilizing text-based activities are not very common in a flipped class model since it is highly associated with video. The lack of clarity about feasibility of this mode for developing reading skills and low technical expertise are among the most common reasons why teachers are hesitant to adopt flipped class model in their practice. The current paper presents the implementation algorithm of flipped reading for an ESP course. In addition, the possible option addressing the lack of technical expertise is described. As a technical solution, the platform Wizer.me is presented in the current paper. The platform offers free tools for designing interactive reading worksheets and provides special features such as adding audio content, video, links and images to the worksheets. The service enables teachers to gain insights on the students' progress and status and offer a feedback. Special features offered by the platform allow approaching each student individually and give good opportunities for students' self-analysis as a crucial component of developing the skills of reflection and critical evaluation. Having user-friendly interface the Wizer.me platform is available to use by the teachers with the basic level of computer literacy.

Keywords: ESP, reading, flipped class, technical solution, algorithm, stages, Wizer.me.

Reading is one the core skills for university students, as they have to absorb massive amounts information in academic settings and throughout their future career. Nowadays, English is the medium in every domain of communication, both in local and global contexts and it is becoming increasingly true as international relations are expanding. Since the majority of the

topical information is provided in English, it is used for the purposes of academic, career and social productive performance.Therefore, developing reading skills is one of the main goals in the university ESP class.

Nowadays, developing reading skills still falls on the premise of traditional teaching mode, where students develop their reading skills and work with content

under the guidance of a teacher in a class. However, the current shift in education paradigm tasks teachers to re-focus their teaching strategies and adopt new approaches to meet new challenges, incorporate facilita-tive technologies and to provide models and opportunities for effective and ample practice. In this context, the flipped class approach is getting more and more attention from practitioners and researchers.

Recent researches report a generally positive impact of the flipped model on students learning outcomes, attitudes and level of satisfaction compared to the traditional models [1-4, 6, 9, 10]. However, the lack of clarity about out of-class performance facilitation and low technical expertise are among the most common reasons why teachers are hesitant to adopt flipped class model in their practice [5, 11, 13-15].

In this paper, we report our findings about one of the technical solutions for providing out-of-class content and monitoring students' performance, that do not require extra technical expertise and available to use by the teachers with the basic level of computer literacy.

Using video materials is considered as the most common method for delivering out-of class content. However, the content could be delivered in any form -presentation, graphics, text, audio etc. Nevertheless, it is not enough just to find or create and then deliver the appropriate material. Utilizing different means of information delivery in a flipped class does not impose passive accepting. It is crucial to offer activities that motivate and encourage students to invest their time and efforts. Students need to understand the sense in watching, reading or listening and connect the delivered material to the instructional goals. In other case, it will be just another homework exercise. As the major challenge of utilizing this model is to avoid passive-ness, it necessary to make it interactive [3, 7, 11, 13].

Nowadays, there is no lack in digital tools and services available to practitioners. In our practice, we have a positive experience using Wizer.me. We have successfully implemented the flipped reading activities,

The comparison of Wizer.

build and delivered with Wizer.me platform, as the ESP course component in the setting of the National technical University of Ukraine "Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute».

The participants was a group of students taking the ESP course in academic year 2020/ 2021. There were 42 students in their seventh term. This selection was reasoned by the following factors: students in their seventh term 1) have enough learning experience and 2) mature enough in age.

The implementation period lasted 16 weeks. Students and teachers met in a class for 90 minutes once a week. At the end of the implementation period we conducted a qualitative and quantitative analysis based on the data received from the survey on students experience and attitudes towards flipped mode and comparative analysis of the pre- and post- test results administrated to the experimental and control groups.

The obtained results revealed more positive students' attitude and dynamics in academic performance and achievements compared to the data obtained from control group. Since the findings are consistent with recent studies reporting positive effect of the flipped mode in teaching a wide range of disciplines, we are able to consider our algorithm and chosen tool as successful.

Having analyzed the extensive list of tools and services offered online we chose the platform as meeting all our needs. Wizer.me is an education platform that enables teachers to create interactive digital worksheets from scratch, to use ready-made worksheets or to adopt them to any course since an extensive and constantly updated library of resources is available. Teachers have an opportunity to share their worksheets, assign them to students, asses students' answers and keep track of students' performance. It can be used as free or free-mium for extra options (Table 1), user-friendly and quick tools for designing and sharing interactive worksheets online and requires only basic level of computer literacy [17].

Table 1.

Wizer Create Wizer Boost

free version $35.99 a year or $3 a month

basic features extra features

Unlimited interactive worksheets Create private worksheets

Unlimited access to all teacher-made Record video instructions

Unlimited alternative questions Student video answers

5 personalization rules. Control who takes the worksheet

Transform old PDF worksheets into Wizer interactive worksheets Schedule when worksheets go live

Google Drive app Set a time cap

Unlimited audio teaching instructions See student work in real time

Unlimited question types Call work in

Unlimited audio student answers Send grades back to Google classroom

Unlimited students Let students retake the worksheet

Share worksheets in Google classroom CVS grade file

Unlimited automatic grading Ask the Wizer team for help

The Wizer.me service is available on any computer of mobile device with the Internet connection and can be run in any browser. To register, teachers and students can use Google accounts that simplifies the procedure or sign up using any email. In addition, the service is integrated with OneNote Class Notebook (Microsoft One Note) and users can use their logins for

access. The worksheets can be embedded into OneNote Class Notebooks; delivered via Google Classroom or Embodo; pasted in a teacher's blog, webpage or any service used; accessed through the link or code sent by a teacher (pic. 1).

Picture 1. Options for worksheets' sharing.

The service has two access options:

1) as a teacher - with features for creating content and evaluating the results)

2) as a student - access only to the content.

To create an interactive worksheet based on any material type teacher is free to load any appropriate

video, presentation, image, audio or text and then complete it with a variety of tasks and features.

The service offers a list of questions types (pic.2) enabling to create a wide variety of tasks.

Picture. 2. Question Types

Worksheet may contain the following activities:

- open-ended tasks: where students are to present their answers in the in the textual format, as picture or an audio message;

- - multiple choice questions: require students to choose the best option (textual format and /or images) from a list of answers;

- - blanks: students are supposed to fill in the gaps to complete the text/statements;

- a task based on an image: student are to add captions in particular sections;

- matching: textual elements are to be paired/ grouped (this may be individual words, words and definitions, parts of sentences, pictures to words etc.);

- - chart / table completing: information is presented in cells proposing only one option: "Instruction'

(e.g. a task delivered to students in a mode allowing its completion) or "Key answers" (e.g. the correct answer - the cell is empty, and students are to fill it);

- - sorting: categories a list of textual elements are presented to students and they are to distribute the elements between the categories;

- - drawing: students can draw their response in the simplest embedded graphics editor or add to the generated picture images and text messages;

- - texting: a formatted text message.

Tasks can be supplemented by adding any rich media (video, audio, animated GIFs, images) and hyperlinks directly to an interactive worksheet. Teachers can also record their own instructions or explanations without using and third-party services (pic.3)

Record instructions < Option.nl Voice

Picture. 3. Options for complementing a worksheet.

At the stage of shaping and /or editing teachers can: grade the level of assimilation; introduce a list of keywords for content; choose the design; title a worksheet.

Almost all activities have an auto-check option and can be assessed automatically (number of points can be set by a teacher for answer). It is possible to textual or audial comments to each task. The automatic messaging function can be used to inform students about the results immediately after handing a worksheet ("Automatic feedback to students" button). Students' answers and scores can be exported in .csv files with full answers or just general statistics.

One more important feature is that each student has a personal profile. Students' attributes include the classes they enrolled in, differentiation rules that teachers can apply to the students for worksheets and descriptions of the students' strengths, progress, performance summary etc. Students have free access to their profiles too (except the bottom teacher's note), which facilitates self-analysis (pic. 4). This option allows communication via personal messages providing individual support and feedback and view students' performance.

Pi!ffomiiUh:c Summary

Picture. 4. Learner's profile.

Having summarized the options and features mentioned above, we are able to conclude that the Wizer.me service fully meet the requirements and principles of ESP teaching and flipped mode approach, therefore it can be used to flip the reading ESP course component.

Since the lack of students' commitment to adopt new technologies in their learning process, low level of their ICT literacy and insufficient experience in using digital tools could be critical obstacles it was decided to research and analyze these factors as critical for successful implementation of the flipped approach. ICT solutions are widely used to enrich, facilitate and support the flipped learning, so the lack of expertise could hinder the process.

As we needed to gather data on attitudes and opinions, the survey type of research was used to investigate students' perceptions and experience. The design of this research was one-shot survey as we were to determine the perception of a single group of individuals (students) at one particular point in time [8, 202]. Therefore, the instrument of this research was a questionnaire. The statements in the questionnaire were designed so that a comprehensive understanding of student's perceptions could be attained.

The questionnaire contained four sections:

- Section 1 - aimed to obtain data on Internet access,

- Section 2 - aimed to gather the data on self-evaluation of the ICT literacy level,

- Section 3 - aimed to collect data on experience in ICT use on a regular basis,

- Section 4 - aimed to reveal particular practical skills.

The questionnaire was developed by adopting Lik-ert Scale, except section 4 (yes-no answer options were offered). Each statement was also complemented by a blank space for reasoning and providing expanded narrative responses.

The research applied quantitative and qualitative approaches since the questionnaire contained both

open- and close-ended questions [8]. The questionnaire was administrated online. A response rate was 100% (considered as an acceptable result to obtain valid data). Statistical analysis software were used to analyze responses collected from the closed-ended questions (numerical data, quantitative approach) and data collected from open-ended questions (narrative responses, qualitative approach) was processed by means of Nvivo.

The obtained results (described in as a percentage) are presented below.

Section 1 : Internet access.

The analyzed data revealed that the participants have no problems with Internet access. All the participants (100 %) reported regular use of several access points. The most common was the combination of mobile, university Wi-Fi and home (96.5 %).

Section 2: self-evaluation of the ICT literacy level.

The participants were asked to rate their ICT literacy. The Likert Scale offered five options: 1- poor, 2 -adequate, 3 - good, 4 - very good, 5 - excellent.

The responses were overwhelmingly positive -54.65 % and 4,35 % of students surveyed rated their literacy as very good and excellent.

Section 3 : experience in ICT use on a regular basis.

In this section, the participants were asked to indicate the frequency of using word processing packages, e-mail, spreadsheets, graphics, multimedia (audio and video), chats and messengers, voice chatting, video chatting, cloud services, online resources. The Likert Scale offered five options: 1- hardly ever, 2 - occasionally, 3 - often, 4 - every day, 5 - several times per day.

This item had very one-sided results with 100 % chose "5- several times per day".

Section 4: practical skills.

In this section, the participants were asked to indicate their skills. They were offered seven yes-no questions:

1. Do you feel free using Power Point?

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2. Can you create and manage online account/profile?

3. Can you perform file management?

4. Can you use cloud services?

5. Can you install an application on your mobile?

6. Can you install software on your computer?

7. Can you upload/download/ share media content on your mobile/computer?

The responses demonstrated that 100 % of the participants have sufficient skills to join the online learning process and will have no problems accessing material and tasks delivered in a digital form.

Furthermore, the grand mean of the participants reported their positive experience with Google classroom (40,7 %), Moodle (31.4 %), KPI Campus (98.8

%) and several online learning platforms and services (96.5%). Moreover, the data gathered from the sections for reasoning and expanded responses enabled the assertion that modern students can be considered as digital natives with sufficient level of proficiency in using ICT.

In a view of the obtained results, we concluded that the surveyed students were able to participate in a flipped learning process.

The procedure of implementing the flipped mode in the ESP course for developing reading skills.

This study presents the four-stage model to flip the reading elements of the ESP curriculum (pic. 5).

Picture 5. The four-stage model.

Stage 1: introduction.

At the beginning, the participants were provided with the detailed explanation part: the objectives and the rationale of the flipped mode was explained; the platform Wizer.me was introduced; the detailed instructions were delivered. The main goal of this stage was to eliminate the potential obstacles related to the students' incomprehension, reluctance, reservations and disengagement [2; 6; 9; 14]. The instructional time focused on routines and procedures giving students time to learn how to succeed in this new format was one of the core elements of the stage.

Stage 2: Pre-class self-study.

Pre-class activities were aimed to help students to explore course content individually (its reading component). Knowledge construction was realized individually in an out-of-class mode. Students were tasked to work with digital interactive worksheets on the platform Wizer.me.

Since teachers' role was still crucial, we provided permanent support and directions to every student to alleviate the potential stress and help to succeed [2; 3; 9; 10; 14]. The platform also enabled us to gain insights on the students' progress and status and offer them a feedback. Furthermore, having monitored students' pre-class performance, we conducted in-class activities

based on misunderstandings and high-error-rate questions.

Stage 3: In-class collaboration and team activities, role-plays, discussions.

Since flipped class format enabled students to review the materials before the class and then, having all the fundamental information, they participated in interactive learning activities that pushed them to apply their knowledge in practice [5; 10].

The reserved in-class time was utilized for teamwork, comprehension tasks, in-depth analysis and discussions, collaborative or individual assignments etc. It fostered the increased peer interaction environment, activities focused on higher cognitive learning, developing their critical thinking, analysis and problem solving skills [2; 4; 5; 9].

As for the first and vital in-class activity in every session the brief review on the pre-class material was held to recall students' memory and clarify any misunderstanding. As for the final in-class activity, a brief preview on the out-of-class material for the next lesson was presented to promote students' interest and engagement.

Stage 4: Post-class formative assessment and self-assessment.

The post-class stage aimed to provide students with opportunities to anaylise their performance and

progress. Self-analysis addressed in the responsibility for their own learning success and was aimed to facilitate

1) developing the skills of reflection and critical evaluation;

2) identifying gaps in knowledge and performance;

3) prompting the ways for improving their performance.

Formative assessment enabled teachers to identify students' needs and progress improve instruction process via targeting areas that need work.

The results obtained in our practice (feedback surveys and interviews, formative and summative assessment activities) support the assumption that the approach has a great potential to affect the ESP class positively. Flipped mode has a great potential to foster developing reading skills within an ESP course. Being implemented appropriately and suitably, the approach can enrich the traditional learning process and make it more productive and student-centred. It is compatible with the regular curriculum and has a good potential to reform the traditional time-consuming in-class components of the ESP course and make it more topical and motivating. However, the process of implementing new formats of training requires careful planning, proper design and monitoring the students' and teachers' feedback to detect and correct possible shortcomings.

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