Course: JAPN 101: Beginning Japanese
Faculty: Elizabeth Armstrong
DP&S liaison: Emily Sherwood
Date: Fall 2015
Summary of Project: Professor Armstrong explored ways of emphasizing grammar in a cultural context through the incorporation of enhanced digital and multimedia assignment components. Japanese characters are drawn in a specific order; one challenge addressed through this grant was finding a tool that would record the order by which students crafted the hiragana or kanji. We discussed several options, but decided that a basic screen capture might be the simplest solution.
Another challenge was finding a way to easily curate a range of cultural content including websites, images, text, and videos. The goal was to provide a range of material for students and have them engage with the materials while learning specific language skills within a cultural framework. We opted to use Mural.ly, a collaborative whiteboard platform that allows a range of media to be easily added through a drag-and-drop format; is flexible in terms of organization of the space; and encourages interaction through targeted and board-wide commenting features. It is easy to trace student work through an Activity drop-down that shows individual engagement with the whiteboard. Finally, Mural.ly is easily embedded in Moodle or WordPress or shared with outside collaborators.
Professor Armstrong ended up using Mural.ly in several Japanese classes as well as her Translation Studies class in the fall of 2015 and the spring of 2016. Currently, we have a limited license for Mural.ly, which is being piloted by faculty in Film and Media Studies, Theatre and Dance, East Asian Studies, and Art and Art History.