The Aga Khan University (AKU) is a multi-campus EMI (English Medium of Instruction) university spread across six countries in three continents. The aim of the Network of English Language Enhancement (ELE_net) is to operate as a distributed network to find effective solutions for enhancing the English language skills of AKU students, faculty and staff. Due to the diversity of learners’ needs and their geographical dispersion, ELE_net depends on a range of learning technologies (including H5P, Flipgrid, Zoom, Camtasia, simplybook.me and Moodle) to reach and engage learners.
The unique context of AKU, even among EMI universities, with campuses spread throughout the developing world, creates a wide range of challenges and opportunities for ELE_net to deliver effective digital learning solutions. This presentation will describe the experiences of Aga Khan University’s Network of English Language Enhancement in Asia and East Africa, and will discuss some approaches we have found to address those challenges.
Session content: evaluation and reflection
Digital technologies can play an important role in facilitating the English language acquisition of a second language learner. These technologies have been used by ELE_net in order to: facilitate communication and collaboration between geographically dispersed students; develop materials which are are culturally appropriate and relevant to the AKU context; allow learners to learn by distance using the devices they have access to; provide an interactive and engaging learning experience. This session will look at how ELE_net uses learning technologies to deliver interactive learning content and develop the productive and receptive skills of language learners at AKU.
Our learners are based at one of six campuses in Asia and East Africa, which presents several challenges in terms of the design and delivery of courses and services. Our learners studying in Tanzania, for example, have different language needs, digital literacies, and access to technologies to learners in Pakistan. The challenge for ELE_net is to design digital learning experiences which our learners are able to access from distance and are sufficiently engaged by, in order to contribute and participate actively.
The session will present the results of ELE_net’s evaluation of the experience of developing interactive digital content using H5P and Camtasia; and enhancing learners’ communication skills through the use of Flipgrid and Zoom. The results of surveys completed by learners who have participated in a course or service will be presented and evaluated in terms of participation levels, engagement, relevance and access.
The process of designing and developing digital learning in a challenging environment described in this session, will be relevant to attendees who are required to consider the needs of multiple stakeholders in their own work context. There will be time for the group to discuss their experiences of using these or similar learning technologies in trying to meet the diverse needs of a group of learners.
Hockly, N. and Dudeney, G. (2013) Reversing the blend: From online to blended. British Council 2013