Recently, The Australian National University explored how new technologies are revolutionising language learning at its Innovation in Teaching Showcase.
A joint initiative of the ANU College of Asia & the Pacific (CAP) and ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences (CASS), the collaborative event highlighted the application of new technologies including artificial intelligence and virtual reality in online language learning.
ANU is the country’s primary tertiary education provider of less commonly taught Asian languages, six of which are taught online in partnership with Open Universities Australia (OUA).
Steven Mottlee, Digital Education Support Officer at CAP, said the Innovation in Teaching Showcase celebrated the achievements of 2018and put the spotlight on emerging trends in online education.
“Our objectives were to demonstrate the exciting things happening in the teaching space at ANU and facilitate further professional development and discussion to benefit our pedagogical practices,” he said.
Online language students at ANU learn using a combination of e-publications on tablet devices, which include multimedia content, and weekly collaborative sessions with teachers and classmates on remote conferencing platforms, such as Zoom.
In 2019, ANU will expand its online language offerings to include Burmese, Tok Pisin and Mongolian, the latter of which will be available to study via OUA.
CAP language convenors delivered presentations at the Showcase covering broad topics.
Dr Fan Shengyu discussed how CAP is using apps and other online tools to teach Chinese-English translation, while Dr Peter Friedlander shared his success using visual materials including comics to teach Hindi online.
“The benefit of developing language programs online which are not widely taught is that they can reach a far wider audience. Students are able to enrol from other universities, both in Australia and from around the world,” Mr Mottlee said.
Also featured at the Showcase was the work being undertaken by ANU School of Music on Indigenous Australian music. The School’s innovative new curriculum methods in composition and recording techniques are taught in courses in the Australian Indigenous Culture, History and Contemporary Issues through Music subject.
Learn more about the languages taught at ANU College of Asia & the Pacific here.
Image: CAP Digital Learning staff Grazia Scotellaro and Steven Mottlee with Macquarie University’s Dr Iain Hay (centre) at the CAP-CASS Innovation in Teaching Showcase 2018.