Document Type

Conference Paper

Rights

This item is available under a Creative Commons License for non-commercial use only

Disciplines

General language studies

Publication Details

20 Years of EUROCALL: Learning from the Past, Looking to the Future: 2013 EUROCALL Conference, Évora, Portugal, Proceedings, 93-97. ISBN: 978-1-908416-13-1

Abstract

Students on the BA International Business and Languages who spend a full academic year on a study visit abroad experience many new challenges such as a different culture, a new university, different academic practices, a foreign language, etc. The assessment methods for the year include the results of the modules taken in the partner universities, a language examination and the submission of a country notebook. This research is a pilot study that explores how the maintenance of an online journal via a blog/e-portfolio structure can support students in their new learning experiences, alert the home coordinator to any potential difficulty before it escalates, provide them with regular online feedback on their progress and enhance their final reflective paper submission. The cohort of students is small and limited to those who are currently in France, spread across five different locations. The research is framed within an interpretivist paradigm using case-study as a research design. Data is gathered through documentary evidence, field observations, questionnaires and interviews. The project’s results are of interest to Erasmus coordinators and educational institutions whose programmes include a study visit or even a placement component. The research brings insights on how reflective thinking can augment students’ learning by practicing regular online reflective writing. Rubrics are used as a powerful tool for online feedback and for the continuous formation of students’ learning. The advantages and challenges of using an enhanced blog structure for the maintenance of an online journal are also reviewed.