Miyerkules, Pebrero 29, 2012

LESSON 16: Using the Project-based Learning Multimedia as a Teaching-Learning Strategy

Project-based multimedia learning is one instructional strategy that we can use and may also include non-technical projects, lecture  and note-talking, writing and artistic or creative project-based multimedia learning strategy in teaching English process through distance education:

1. It is a powerful motivator students engaged in the creating in multimedia projects.
2. It makes teachers look for and apply the methods that optimize learning effect.
3. It makes teachers structurize the form of material.

Distance education is a multimedia education that uses for educational purposes e-mail textbooks, videoconferences, a computerized slide show, Web site and taking part in discussion in focus groups.
In this sense, one of the subjects which has been more extensively used in distance language teaching is focus groups.
Focus groups are organized discussion with a selected group of people with objective of gaining information about their views and experiences on a topic (Gibbs, 1998).
While focus groups have been used mostly in the fields of marketing our business specialities, over the past few decades they have come to be used as the methods of data gathering in qualitative studies.
The main benefit of focus groups is their ability to collect the data, to observe the information and then to analyze it. Focus groups are feelings and reactions because of the group synergy generated in these discussions.
Since focus groups rely on group interaction more than individual reports, often students have the opportunity to compare their experiences to those of the other participants and new information or different perspectives may be sparked by this interaction (Hoppe, Wells, Morrison Gillmore Wilsdom, 1995).
According to Morgan, the basic argument on favour of self-contained focus groups is that they reveal aspects of experiences and perspectives that would not be as accessible without group interaction. The focus groups used in the learning process must be homogenous.

The following parameters for focus groups are set:
- Group participants should be familiar with each other.
- Group participants should be homogenous.
- Group session should be no more than two hours.
- Group rules in each session include respecting each other opinions, no put-downs and letting everyone have a chance to talk.

After setting these initial focus group parameters it was decided that participants be able to choose the language in which they will participate.
Most authors resist the use of videotape recording in focus groups (Krueger, 1994; Morgan, 1997).
The primary goal of a focus group is to establish and facilitate discussion. In this case focus groups are being used after getting the basic knowledge on subject to interpret and analyze the given information.
Before focus group starts the discussion it is necessary to ask several questions. Firstly the participants would be asked the warm-up questions and then the actual data-collecting questions. It is possible to use the written answers to questions which participant are writing during the first few minutes  before the discussion.

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