The online platform for English language learners in the communities served by PEACE has been updated to deliver content that is skills-based. The previous platform followed the sequential K-12 system used in the public schools in the surrounding communities. The new platform delivers skills-based content to three levels of learners (Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced), based on the results of an online placement exam.
A video presentation explains how the platform works so that students can familiarize themselves and get started right away. This new and improved system is now live and in use. Most users have tested at the Beginner level while a smaller group has tested at the Intermediate level.
After testing into one of the three levels, each student progresses through a series of ten modules. Each module has three main parts. First is the Start, which is a presentation of the module content, followed by an introductory video explaining the vocabulary or grammar points in the module. Next, the Practice section requires the student to complete practice exercises to reinforce the module content. Every module concludes with a Review, which is a task that asks the student to upload evidence of content mastery. This evidence can be in the form of an audio or video recording for example. Rob has already sent feedback to students who have submitted their module tasks. After all, ten modules of a level have been completed, the student can take the online placement test for the next level.
Students will also be able to monitor their learning with a progress bar that shows them which modules they have completed, which they are currently working on, and how many they need to finish before moving to the next level. In addition, there is a Re-source Section for learners to access an online pronunciation tool and a list of common irregular verbs among other valuable resources.
To support online learning, regular tutorial sessions via Zoom are available three times a week for students who choose to join the hour-long tutorials. During tutorials students can ask questions, clarify information, and practice their English in real time with a teacher.
Overall, the new, skills-based platform holds the promise of engaging students and helping them learn and retain vocabulary and language skills in anticipation of gradually shifting classes back to the brick-and-mortar classroom.