Project #3 Self-study multimedia exercises

Level: 3 levels, Upper-Intermediate, First Certificate (FC), Post-FC

Circumstances: Business English students at University

Classroom time required: None; material to be accessed in self-access centre

Brief outline: Teacher to create multiple-choice comprehension questions on business texts taken from Internet, to provide extra reading practice

Equipment required: Computer; HotPotatoes (free download, but 25 user licence is over $1,000)

To find out more about HotPotatoes:

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  1. Comments from the session:

    -Covers 3 different levels
    -Students can work at their own pace

    -Used only in the self-access centre
    -Time involved

    Further comments from Tom:
    Of the four projects we looked at in the session, I like three — this is the one that I don't like.

    Apart from the cost, my objection to it is the time involved. How many hours of work will have to go into creating the material, and how much learning will come out of it?

    Couldn't the students simply read the texts online?

    You could argue that if they have to answer questions, and will get results, they might be slightly more motivated to read and do the exercises.

    But that's a huge investment of my time in exchange for a minimal return…

    What's the return on investment? That's the basic question we should be asking. I want minimal use of my time as a teacher, for a maximum possible amount of language learning.

  2. Katarina, Emma, Maggie and Dorina

    Additional Pros:
    -students being business learners would be a good interactive English experience using technology

    Additional Cons:
    -assumes high computer literacy of both teachers and the learners

  3. Again, not sure it really requires that much technological skill…

    HotPotatoes — like any computer programme — needs to be learnt, but it's not really that sophisticated.

    One of my doubts about this project is, Is picking multiple-choice answers really what we could describe as "interactive"?

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