Featured Projects of 2005

Laurel Amtower's Project

Sonnet Transformation:
Using Digital Poems to Interpret Shakespeare

Similar to Eniko, Laurel wanted her students to engage with the course content in meaningful ways. Increasingly students in her classes saw no connection between what they were being asked to do in assigned papers and what skills they were supposed to gain as a result of the class. She also found her increasing reliance on the lecture format to be ineffecti November 5, 2012 eless worried that lectures did not inspire involvement or excitement about literature. She was looking for ways to expand interpretation of literature beyond traditional papers. “They won’t experience it unless they feel some sense of ownership over it. They have to play with it themselves and the lecture format just isn't going to do it." Laurel wanted students to appropriate and understand Shakespeare's poetry in an immediately personal way, to recontextualize it for a modern audience, and to be able to communicate that using current technology. She chose the digital poem, a PowerPoint-based piece which combines music, images and animation. "Powerpoint is an excellent medium for communication. It allows students to focus and distill their readings of literature coherently for an audience."
Read "Embracing Technology in the Classroom: One Professor's Story" an SDSU Universe article about Laurel's project.

To view one student's digital poem, please follow these steps.

  • You must first save the PowerPoint file and the audio (MP3) file to your Desktop, or to the same location on your computer.
  • To save the PowerPoint file click here and chose Save.
  • To save the audio (MP3) file, right click here and choose Save Target As.
  • To play the slide show, open the PowerPoint file and in the Main Menu go to Slide Show>View Show. The audio (clapping and music) should start automatically.
  • NOTE: The two files must be downloaded to the same location on your computer for the audio to play.

Fellow Eniko Csomay's Project

Computer Assisted Language Learning: Listening,
A critical (re)view of on-line EFL/ESL listening materials
A WebQuest for pre-, & in-service EFL/ESL teachers and trainees on the Theory and Practice of Teaching English as a Foreign/Second Language

Eniko wanted to improve a web-based assignment in her Linguistics 550 (Theory and Practice of ESL/EFL) class by making it more relevant and engaging for students and more aligned with the course and program learning goals. She hadn't been too happy with the assignment because student papers hadn't shown the analytical depth she was looking for. She also hadn't felt that the assignment helped students make any real connections to the materials covered in class. She knew that some students liked the task--they got to know web resources in the field, and others didn't--there was no specific guidance on how to actually do the assignment and no specifics on how to write up the paper. She realized it had evolved into one of those ‘get-it-done and get-the-credit’ assignments.
To improve this, she used the WebQuest model, a widely-used pedagogical framework for inquiry-oriented, web-based learning activities. The essential components of a WebQuest include a clearly defined task and the steps for completing it. Because WebQuests are underpinned by a constructivist learning approach, tasks, subtasks and scaffolding engage and support students to analyze, synthesize content in novel ways, in Eniko's case, to critically evaluate web sites as an ESL instructor should. "I wanted the students to make stronger connections between the theories we learn in class and what they see on the web." Here is Eniko's project.


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