L530 Computer Assisted Language Learning

Spring 2007 Syllabus

Instructor | Purpose | Course Materials | Moodle | Responsibilities | Activities and Evaluation


Instructor Information

Instructor: Dan Craig
Department of Language Education
School of Education
201 N. Rose, 3044 W.W. Wright Education Bldg.
Bloomington, IN 47405-1006
Fax : (812)856-8287
E-mail : daacraig@indiana.edu
Home: http://www.danielcraig.com


Course Purpose and Goals

Although theories of learning and teaching may be interdisciplinary, educational methods and techniques are specific to subject areas. While general education computer courses may provide an overview of computer use for current and future teachers, they do not address issues specific to the teaching and learning of second/foreign language. That is where this course comes in.

Computer Assisted Language Learning (CALL) is intended to give participants a broad view of computer-enhanced language teaching and learning. It will involve participants in exploring a working theory of language learning environments, using and discussing existing and potential applications of computer technology in the language classroom, and creating projects to use and test knowledge gained through reading, discussion, and hands-on experience.

Format and Philosophy

This course is designed for pre-service and in-service teachers, technology consultants, administrators, and all others interested in computer assisted language learning. It is an introductory workshop course at the graduate level; this means that, in addition to perusing the literature and discussing the research, participants will be involved in hands-on discovery and creation. To fulfill this purpose, the class has been developed as a part seminar, part technical training, and part hands-on workshop. Topics covered include means and ways to communicate and collaborate with technology, software/website evaluation and integration, creation and evaluation of online tasks and student assessment. Methods/ techniques appropriate to second/foreign language classrooms will be integrated into class sessions as will technology, and the focus will be on building a learning community among participants.

Students come to this course with a number of skills, of which, working with technology may be one. While this course is not highly technical, we do address a number of technical topics (i.e., FrontPage, HTML, blogs, wikis, etc.). There are more than enough resources available on the Web to learn any of these. The instructor will provide support for each of these technologies in the form of links to suggested tutorials as well as email, chat, and telephone assistance when necessary, however it is up to the learner to take charge of their own learning and familiarize themselves with the tutorials and technologies.


With the focus on theories and practices of computer-assisted language learning, the participants in this course will be able to:

  1. Create appropriate contexts in which language learners interact and negotiate meaning in the computer-assisted classroom.
  2. Understand how to integrate technology into language learning environments.
  3. Effectively evaluate software and technology-based projects and activities for use in their own language classrooms.
  4. Develop new computer-enhanced tasks and adapt existing computer-based tasks to suit the needs of their learners.
  5. Understand the importance and use of on-going assessment in the computer-enhanced language classroom.

Back to top


Course Materials

All required readings will be available online.

Back to top


Moodle - Learning Management System

Course discussions and information exchange takes place in the CALL class Moodle. Moodle is a course management system. It is not the default system used by IU, but it is a far better system and I think you will all appreciate it. All registered students will receive an email with information on accessing Moodle prior to the start of classes.

Also, while most of our interaction occurs outside of the IU network, it is still required that you get an IU computing account. For more information on obtaining an IU computer account, go to the "How do I get my first compter accounts at IU?" page in the IU Knowledge Base (good reference for computer-related issues at IU).

Back to top


Participant Responsibilities

As professionals, we'll work together in this course to improve our knowledge, competence, and understanding in our own and other areas of language education. Each of us in this class will know more in some areas and less in others; each participant will take on the role of mentor in some situations and novice in others. In all of these contexts, you should expect from yourself and the other participants very high standards of professional conduct.

Back to top


Assignments and Activities

The final course grade will be determined by the percentage of points earned out of a possible 300 points.

Due dates for activities can be found in the course schedule .



Point Value

Forum Discussion

Participation in the electronic discussion forum includes asking questions, answering questions, and sharing information in a variety of ways. 

Assessment is based on the quantity and quality of your contributions. This means that you should ask thought-provoking questions, give thoughtful comments, and raise critical problems or issues. You should also address other people's questions, concerns, and comments in a friendly and supportive way. No personal attacks are allowed (we really don't think this would happen, but just in case). We can all learn a lot from each other through idea exchange and sharing.

Most importantly, a successful electronic discussion takes the form of a conversation. Simply posting questions and answers results in a dry, boring conversation that treats the discussion as simply a chore. This is your space, your class, and your learning. Take advantage of the expertise that your classmates possess and the functionality that the technology provides. And...have fun!




Participation is crucial to the success of the class as a whole and your learning in particular. You will explore technologies, theories, and the application of each to teaching by yourself and collaboratively with a partner(s).

General participation represents activities/exchanges that occur outside of the discussion forum. These include learning new technologies, familiarizing yourselves with instructional and professional websites, utilizing chat as a way to communicate with the instructor and classmates, keeping blogs of your work in this class and responding to others, updating the class wiki on numerous topics, as well as responding to instructor calls for information.



Interactive Class Reflections

Three times during the semester you will write a reflection to describe what went well and what could have gone better in the class, what you learned/didn't learn, wish you had learned, and what your plan is for learning more. You will send your brief (one page or less) reflection through e-mail to the instructor, who will respond in a timely fashion. Points are earned for completing this activity as instructed.




Why is an application (Web or software) good? Why should it be used in your classroom? These are questions that you will not only have to answer for yourselves, but you may be called upon to justify their use by others. This assignment aims to help you to evaluate websites/software that are available in your area. You can find the guidelines here (MS Word document).

Each student will submit 6 evaluations throughout the course. These will be posted and discussed in student blogs and the class wiki.



External Documents

Teachers are used to adapting texts and other content to serve their needs. It is not often that a resource completely satisfies the needs of your classroom. External documents enable you to supplement software and websites to better serve the needs of your students.

External documents can be used to assist students in using the resources, add additional information, provide supplementary activities, and so forth. This assignment goes hand in hand with the website/software evaluation assignments. You will be able to address weaknesses in the evaluated resources to make them better suited for your classroom.



Web Page

More and more online resources are created by people with no experience in creating Web pages. Blogs, wikis, and other similar technologies do not require this kind of specialized training. However, Web page development is still an important skill for teachers to have. Not only is this still a requirement for most online materials, it also enables you to customize blogs and wikis to better design Web pages with the above mentioned technologies.

For this assignment, you will develop a web page using an approved HTML editor (FrontPage, Dreamweaver, 1st Page, etc) which enables you to create the page quickly without directly using HTML (though you are free to use HTML if you would like). However, you will need to learn some of the basics about HTML to meet the criteria for the assignment.



Assessment Project

Assessment is an integral part of teaching. In this course, we will look at a number of different methods of assessment that are carried out on computers and the Internet.

For this assignment, students will describe a model assessment for their own current (or future) class, review a number of various technologies that could help carry out the model assessment, and implement one or more of these technologies in a detailed assessment plan.




The culminating assignment for this course is the development of a WebQuest. In this project, you and possibly your teammates will build on the strengths of the Internet and World Wide Web to create materials for language teachers world-wide.



Back to top