2020-2021 Academic Year Fall Semester TLDU Update
Please find ScOLa Teaching and Learning Development Unit update for 2020-2021 Academic Year Fall Semester below:
1. Professional Development Activities
1.a. Common Time Sessions
There were three series of sessions and three individual sessions in the Fall Semester and all of them were synchronously presented online . In total, 83 participants attended these sessions. We would like to thank our colleagues who gave the sessions voluntarily and the ones who attended and contributed to these sessions.
We hope we will continue sharing our ideas and expertise with each other in the future.
2. Extra/Co-curricular Language Development Activities for Students
2.a. Study Center
In Fall Semester, ScOLa Study Center – Study Slots were visited 151 times & Speaking Slots were visited 89 times by our students. Around half of these visits focused on the writing skill (76 times), and 31 times of these visits were to get grammar support. In addition to our speaking slots, the students also visited the study slots 46 times to practice speaking.
We are happy to provide this extra support to our students despite the challenges brought about by the pandemic. We hope to continue supporting our students in the areas that they need extra guidance during these unprecendented times.
2.b. ScOLa Clubs
This semester we ran two clubs. One of them primarily focused on the speaking & presentation skills and the other one focused on the wiritng skill. We would like to thank our instructors; Feraye Turan Pir and Sinem Altuğ for the effort they put in creating and running these clubs. We would like to continue offering this extra-curricular opportunity to our students so that they can have different options to be exposed to English in addition to their regular classes.
2.c. ScOLa Project Classes
This semester we were able to offer project classes in all our levels. The number of participants was quite high and we started off with 13 sections in A2, 24 sections in B1, and 14 sections in B2, in each of which there were 10-11 students. The project instructors, i.e. Zeliha Aydın, Selda Macunlar, Ezgi Öner, Selma Tamdoğan Çalışkan, İlknur Aydoğdu, Tuğba Yıldırım and Mohammad Khari, were able to plan and implement these courses in an on online setting smoothly. Here are the details for the project class at each of our levels:
2.c.i. A2 Project
The A2 project class started with 127 students, and 60 students completed it successfully in this module. Students were expected to attend the sessions and complete all the oral or written tasks before, during and after each session as well as the final task which was writing a blog on how to be a successful language learner.
The project consisted of five stages focusing on a specific aspect of the question. In each stage, students tried to answer the question of how to be a successful language learner from different aspects. Each stage of the project started with the input sessions/tasks which provided students with the opportunity to do research and collect information on the question of the specific stage. After each input session, students completed a productive task using the information they had collected. All the tasks were in line with A2 level objectives and some of the tasks completed were conducting interviews with different people about the reasons of learning a foreign language and reporting their results, preparing a poster on effective study tips, shooting a video on how to improve reading and listening skills, writing a paragraph on how to improve vocabulary knowledge, and preparing and doing a presentation on how to improve writing and speaking skills. For each task, they were assessed based on the criteria that had been shared with them. They uploaded their tasks on their blogs after they got feedback about the content and the language.
You can see some of the blogs completed in the project below. We hope you will enjoy them.
2.c.ii. B1 Project
B1 project basically aims to help students improve their 21th century skills preparing them for the workforce. In the project, students are involved in collaboration and interaction in order to enhance their skills which are associated with critical thinking, problem solving, time management and productivity. This term, students were specifically encouraged to analyze ‘gender inequality’ problem as a complex real-life world problem with collaborative work benefitting from each other’s ideas and they were able to propose solutions to this complex problem with their amazing final products which were designed by different technological tools contributing to their technology literacy throughout the project. At the end, 136 out of 249 students completed the project class successfully.
Each week had a different relevant focus to the main theme and tasks that included doing research, completing a survey, poster presentations and creating project proposals, which prepared students smoothly for their final products aiming to demonstrate specific gender inequality problem that they chose and the solutions they decided. The students regularly got feedback on their tasks and managed their time effectively to make necessary changes and finally submitted their final products with an enhanced awareness of the specific topic. The final products we got from our students made us feel really pleased and let us keep up-to-date with new generation’s understanding, perspective and capabilities, and you can see a few examples below:
2.c.iii. B2 Project
The B2 Project was offered to students studying in B2 level as an extracurricular activity through which they had the opportunity to improve their language skills outside the classroom. Students actively participated in online sessions and completed a variety of engaging tasks with different natures both individually and collaboratively over the course of 10 weeks in the project. Their continuous efforts and dedication enabled them to enhance a set of skills such as communication, collaboration, creativity, and critical thinking, which they need in order to succeed in the 21st century. On the other hand, they constructed knowledge and deepened their understanding of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through the tasks connecting them to the real world. To exemplify, they explored the expression of human rights in arts as well as the applications and violations of human rights around the world by doing research. They also had the chance to share their findings and opinions in online discussions we had in our online meetings, where they practiced expressing themselves in a respectful manner in the target language. They sometimes expressed their understanding in different forms in tasks that required them to create comics and posters. Additionally, they demonstrated learner autonomy by self directing their learning and managing their time effectively to complete the tasks by the given deadlines, and engaging in reflections.
Finally, 48 out of 138 students could complete this challenging process that requires them to handle different tasks and responsibilities in 10 consecutive weeks. You can see some of the great work completed by the students in the project in this link:
Congratulations to all those who contributed to the tremendous learning process and managed to transform into the better version of themselves!
2.d Common Time Student Development Sessions
Considering the challenges of online education and the importance of presence during this new medium of instruction, we tried to reach all of our students via different components. Common Time Student Development Sessions component was one of them during Fall Semester. Analyzing the Fall Calendar, we chose Tuesday afternoons as a common time for our students when we placed our sessions every week. Our students knew that there was a developmental session every Tuesday afternoon and they joined these sessions via the zoom links provided at the beginning of the semester. In total, we gave 8 sessions some of which were repeated twice both in Turkish and in English to be able to reach all of our students. More than 300 students attended these sessions and were able to get SEC 101 credit, as well . Below you can see the overview of these sessions in detail.
We hope to continue providing this opportunity for our students in the Spring Semester. If you are interested in giving a developmental session to our students, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org by 29.01.2021 explaining your session in mind briefly.
Fall Semester – Common Time Student Development Sessions Overview:
We would like to thank you all for your cooperation and contribution to make all the extra-curricular activities happen. Despite all the adversities brought about by the pandemic, we were able to continue our usual practices only in a different format.
Wish you all a relaxing semester break.