The Tridem Project

Hauck, Mirjam and Lewis, Tim (2007). The Tridem Project. In: O'Dowd, Robert ed. Online Intercultural Exchange: An Introduction for Foreign Language Teachers. Language for Intercultural Communication andEducation (15). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters, pp. 250–258.



Telecollaboration takes many forms. This account of work in progress describes a project which has a number of particular features, one of which is identified in its name. It links learners from three different parts of the world in a so called Tridem It was inspired by a number of earlier collaborations. One of us was a founder member of the EU-funded International Email Tandem Network, co-ordinated throughout the 1990s by Helmut Brammerts, of Ruhr-Universität Bochum, who was a regular practitioner of such three-way exchanges (see Brammerts, 2003). The other took part in a more recent tripartite telecollaborative project, involving students of German from the UK and Australia and mother tongue informants from Friedrich Schiller Universität Jena, which yielded important insights into the factors which influence the success of synchronous online language learning (see Hampel, Felix, Hauck and Coleman, 2005).

Another quite singular aspect of the Tridem project was its use of Lyceum, a piece of synchronous audiographic conferencing software developed in house by the Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute, which is now a standard means of delivering language courses in our institution. In the TRIDEM project students of French in the UK and the US worked online with native speakers in France synchronously in Lyceum and asynchronously in weblogs to complete several collaborative tasks. Meetings covered a period of over 10 weeks in autumn 2005. In addition to the (oral, written and graphic) output produced in Lyceum, project outcomes took the form of several collaborative blogs.

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