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A DIGITAL TOOL TO PROMOTE STUDYING USING THE SCIENCE OF LEARNING

The 10TH Annual American Language Program 2024 Winter Conference, Columbia University
Project created by:Dr. Leyre Alejaldre Biel DLAICDr. Dolores Barbazán Capeáns DLAICAurora Collado, Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL)Contributions from:Rachel Rothbaum

Conclusions

Results

Explain the rationale to choose a digital tool to achieve our goal

Provide the theoretical background

Describe the problem

Present the in class research project

Objectives

Foreign language students are required to learn a variety of grammar structures and an extensive amount of vocabulary that they must integrate and use for effective communication, with fluency being an essential aspect.

Contextualization

New intercultural knowledge

New words

Previous Knowledge

Grammar Structures

https://blog.inkforall.com/difficult-words

Learning a Language

This project gave learners autonomy to assess their own Knowledge, and built their confidence when using the target language.
Creation of activities using a digital tool with an algorithm that promotes a unique learning experience.
Different language levels
Spanish Intermediate II (180 students, 2 semesters)
Help students to study more effectively, so they achieve higher levels of fluency and promote long term learning.
Action Research + Science of Learning

BRIEF PROJECT DESCRIPTION

Taking into consideration the principles of the Science of Learning

How do we choose the digital tool?

How can we help our students to study a language in an efficient way using a digital tool?

Shadowing
Elaboration
Interleaving
USING THE SIX COGNITIVE STRATEGIES BASED ON THE SCIENCE AND LEARNING
Spaced Practice
Relevant examples
Retrieval practice
Each student is different, they have their unique learning strategies and use their time to study depending on their specific schedules.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE TO CREATE THIS TYPE OF LEARNING EXPERIENCE?

SOLUTIONTo use a digital tool to create unique learning experiences implementing the principles of the Science of Learning

We created 3000 digital flashcards

What does look like?
A survey to find out students´ study routines and habits.
A questionnaire to discover their own perceptions regarding difficulties areas when learning Spanish.
Quizzes before and after each chapter.

RESEARCH TOOLS

I totally agree
I agree
Neutral
I partially disagree
I disagree

I don´t know how to study Spanish

BEFORE BRAINSCAPE STUDENTS´ EXPERIENCE

I totally agree
I agree
Neutral
I partially disagree
I disagree

BEFORE BRAINSCAPE STUDENTS´ EXPERIENCE

I review/study Spanish the day before the quiz.

I totally agree
I agree
Neutral
I partially disagree
I disagree

Now I have better study strategies than at the beginning of the semester

AFTER BRAINSCAPE STUDENTS´ EXPERIENCE

It helps me a lotIt helps me quite a lotIt helps meIt does not help me

Does BC help you to study better?

AFTER BRAINSCAPE STUDENTS´ EXPERIENCE

It helps them to study

  • I don't like Brainscape. I think Quizlet is better.
  • I believe we should have fewer cards in Brainscape per chapter because I can't focus on the words and structures when I have to study so many cards.
  • I really like it, obviously! I think it was helpful for my ability to remember vocabulary in flashcards.I like Brainscape because it helped me learn new vocabulary and assisted me with grammar
  • I think Brainscape is good.
  • I like that it forces me to review and practice vocabulary.
  • Overrall, Brainscape is a good thing for the class and it is useful.

STUDENTS´ EXPERIENCE

Overall, students express satisfaction, but also some complaints (quizlet, too many cards)
To assess their efficacy, we need to conduct testing again in a year.
We did not observe significant changes in quiz results, however these techniques are desgined to tackle long term retention
Using BC helps students to study and develop effective language learning strategies.

SUMMARIZING

  • Too repetitive
  • Not interactive
  • Some students find the content too easy
  • The algorithm created unique learning flashcard sets
  • Students study more and learned to study
  • Students showed more fluency in speaking/writing
  • Brainscape is time-consuming
  • The Science of Learning

OUR EXPERIENCE

  • Retrieval and Spaced Practice, but also Shadowing
  • Long-term memory

- Intermediate Spanish II student

Conclusions

With Brainscape ...

Overall, Brainscape is a good thing for the class and it is useful.

  • We teach students strategies to learn how to learn/memorize through the science of learning: strategies to learn how to study a language.

We are using technology for something we cannot do analogically: creating unique set of flashcards for each learner.

Questions? Comments?

Dr. Leyre Alejaldre Biel: leyre.alejaldre@columbia.edu Dr. Dolores Barbazán Capeáns: db3140@columbia.edu

Thank you!