CALL Evaluation: user experience and cognitive artifacts

12 October 2011
<div class="captionCaption">Professor Catherine Caws</div>
Professor Catherine Caws

Nowadays, language instruction makes regular use of electronic resources (CALL programs), and teachers and students rely increasingly on web-based learning environments. The wealth of resources available on the internet is transforming teaching practices and impacting learning. Research shows that in order to be effective, web searching must be directly linked to a specific educational context, and that learners must be accordingly instructed on how to perform effective searches and research on the web. These skills define, in part, the notion of critical and electronic literacies, which means CALL programs need to be particularly effective in order to increase learners' ability to use online resources for second-language acquisition. A growing body of research in CALL evaluation, design and development has indicated that analysis of learners' behaviours is essential to implementing high-quality technology. Consequently, the need to carefully collect data in order to understand the behaviour of web-based language learners has become critical. Focusing on the process of learning with a thorough description of the procedure at stake is integral to a deep understanding of students' interactions with the system.

Professor Catherine Caws completed her doctoral research on the semantic and lexical identity of French idiomatic expressions, and more specifically on their historical description, using MelCuk text-meaning theory. While teaching at Simon Fraser University and continuing her work in phraseology, she started research in Computer Assisted Language Learning as it relates to the teaching and learning of French in higher-education settings. Her work is strongly influenced by cognitive and constructivist theories, as well as Activity Theory. She is working in collaboration with Dr Marie-Josée Hamel on a project to investigate the nature and effects of the electronic-learning environment on second-language learners and to understand the educational and computer needs, interests, and expectations of learners who are becoming more and more engaged in interactions with web-based, language-learning programs.

Time: 11am - join us from 10.45am for coffee and nibbles

Location: Room 230, Education Building

Cost: Free

Email: 5728275977243d2a3c02494a222d2d19160c