Academic journal article Education

Moodling English Language Education

Academic journal article Education

Moodling English Language Education

Article excerpt

Originally an acronym, Moodle standing for Modular Object-Oriented Dynamic Learning Environment, is also known as a course management system (CMS), a learning management system (LMS), or a virtual learning environment (VLE) serving as a basis in order for educators to create online platforms and dynamic interactive environments that are commonly used all around the world by various educational stakeholders to meet learning and teaching-related needs (Ali & Jaafar, 2010; Mehrabi & Abtahi, 2012; Vanova & Kazelleova, 2012; Yaman, 2010). Moodle, offering many different functions from course management to follow-up students' activities by paving the way for developing forums, wikis, quizzes, surveys, assignments, lessons, databases, glossaries, and other interactive in-built activities without any need for specific computer skills (Ali & Jaafar, 2010), has numerous benefits in terms of the fact that it fosters student learning and facilitates interactions between learners and between learners and teachers (Kavaliauskiene, 2011). Moreover, by creating online courses, teachers or online course designers can share documents, quizzes and graded assignments with their students in an easy and cost-effective way (Bajahzer, Al-Ajlan, & Zedan, 2008). Taking these features into consideration, the Moodle environment has many modules that are readily available for teachers/students who are in search of enhancing effective teaching/learning processes to achieve better academic performances through the use of technology in educational fields. The various modules in Moodle have different functions. One of these fundamental modules is the chat module that lets participants have a chat synchronically. The next module is the forums module that provides an asynchronous online discussion with participants. The other module named the glossary activity module allows participants to create and maintain a list of definitions, like a dictionary. The questionnaire module in Moodle could help educators to design a survey or a kind of online form which will provide opportunities to be able to evaluate a course based on students' responses. Being helpful for practicing material, studying, and testing, the lesson module enables teachers to design and create a series of HTML pages that includes some sort of choices underneath the content area that will send students to a specific page in the lesson depending on the student's choice of answer (Mehrabi, J. & Abtahi, M. S., 2012).

Especially, as the use of modern technology in teaching/learning languages has been considerably increasing worldwide over the past decade, language teachers have been seeking effective and fruitful instruction methods to motivate students enabling them to construct the knowledge required to improve and enhance language skills and academic performances (Suppasetseree, S. & Dennis, N, 2010). Hence, many educational institutions are in an effort to develop effective and interactive methods in language pedagogy through e-learning solutions. Among technology facilitation, Moodle, which is based on a social constructionist approach with various characteristics, stands for both a powerful teaching/learning aid (Baskervill & Rob, 2005) and a support to be employed along with traditional classroom instruction, has applications to learning environments in some studies conducted by many language practitioners and researchers (Al-Jarf, 2005, Brandle, 2005; Tsai & Liou, 2006). In particular, in the field of teaching and learning the English language, the role and the use of Moodle are considerably highlighted. To illustrate, in a study carried out by Zeng and Takatsuka (2009) investigating text-based peer-peer collaborative dialogue of English learners via Moodle, it was found the computer-mediated language learning environment via Moodle facilitates learners' text-based collaborative dialogue and enhances their language learning; moreover, both learners' reciprocal attention to linguistic form is increased and their collaborative construction of knowledge is encouraged by Moodle. …

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