Monthly Archives: January 2012

Using Corpora

Did you know that “obviously” is almost five times more common in spoken English than in written English or that the word “somewhat” is more common in writing than speaking (Caplan, 2011)?

By searching a corpus, you can easily find this type of information. Our first Technology Interest Group meeting this term will focus on  using corpus data to create language learning activities. This will not be a theoretical discussion, but rather an opportunity to explore new ways of creating activities and assessments for your classes.

When: Technology Tuesday, January 24th from 12-1pm
Where: ILLC 248
Preparation: Read “The Use of Corpora in the Vocabulary Classroom
Bring a brownbag lunch. I’ll make sure to bring something sweet for everyone.

Hope you can all make it!

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Blackboard Tips and Tricks!

Did you see the INTO OSU newsletter this week? In “Tech with Katie”, I gave 10 tips and tricks

Ten Tips for Using Blackboard:

  1. Use the blackboard training materials from OSU. The materials are available here.
  2. Email your students using blackboard. The how to information is here.
  3. Weight grades using categories. So, homework is worth 10% of the grade, but you don’t know how to calculate it. Let blackboard do the work. Information is here and a video is here.
  4. Create a class-wide collaborative dictionary or annotated bibliography using the new wiki feature. The how to information is here.
  5. Embed your PowerPoint presentations using the new slideshare Mash-up feature.  The how to information is here.
  6. Enforce the language, so students only use the site in English (via Byrne Brewerton) Here is video describing it.
  7. Create a grammar blog with students where students talk about things they find interesting or complicated in authentic materials. (The assignment is described here. Information about how to set it up is here.)
  8. Stay up-to-date on student performance through the Early Warning System. It can notify you, if a student has logged in awhile, he/she has a low grade, or has not submitted their homework before the due date.  The how to information is here.
  9. Prevent cheating on blackboard tests using the timer setting and randomized questions. The how to information is here.
  10. Organize your materials into learning modules. These can be used for class units; it can also be used to create a selection of materials for extra practice. Information about how to set it up is here.
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