Monday, December 17, 2007

Proposal for IBTE conference

Integrating Online Writing Evaluation Software into ESL Curriculum


The trend of using technology in the classroom is rapidly increasing; however, ESL educators must consider the implications of independent language learning in using technology. This presentation discusses the experiences of an intensive ESL program's online writing evaluation class using the program Criterion and its implications on student/teacher dynamics.


The role of technology as a learning tool in the classroom has been increasing rapidly for ESL educators; however, with this trend it is important to question what role a teacher plays within the technology. In writing evaluation, it is especially important for educators to learn how to best integrate online writing evaluation within their face to face curriculum to save time and generate a student ownership of their writing homework. In fact, the issue is more about developing a balance between the technology driven independent writing software feedback, and more traditional teacher feedback of writing.

Therefore, the purpose of this presentation is to assist colleagues in overcoming barriers in using online writing evaluation learning technology in the classroom by demonstrating one teacher's work with the online writing evaluation software Criterion.

The lecture summarizes the debate within current research on learning with technology to develop a discussion framework on the uses of online writing evaluation software as it relates to ESL training goals. In turn, the debate translates into developing a new balance between independent coursework and teacher driven curriculum, especially as it relates to a multi-level ESL class. The challenges students and the instructor have faced within an online writing evaluation class are presented as experiential data for the analysis. In conclusion, a short demonstration of student progress is made to substantiate how a particular approach to utilizing the software indeed helps students improve their writing.


Kevin Forgard has taught Adult ESL in China and ELS Language Center in Chicago. He holds a MA from Linkoping University, Sweden.