The role and nature of assessment in blended contexts

Duensing, Annette and Harper, Felicity (2011). The role and nature of assessment in blended contexts. In: Nicolson, Margaret; Murphy, Linda and Southgate, Margaret eds. Language Teaching in Blended Contexts. Edinburgh: Dunedin Academic Press Ltd, pp. 59–74.



Written for those teaching languages to adults in blended contexts in higher, further and adult education, where a mix of delivery modes and tools may be in use, this edited volume offers a comprehensive overview of the key issues faced and of the developmental issues that may arise for teachers and for those responsible for their professional development. The authors examine the impact of different learning environments (online, face-to-face, telephone) on pedagogic practice and language learner support and recognises the particular socio-cultural, psycho-linguistic and cognitive issues that have to be taken into account when working with diverse adult language learners in blended settings. Field research underpins the chapters to better inform and develop good practice.
The editors and contributors have all worked on the production and teaching presentations of Open University (OU) courses in French, German, Spanish, Welsh, Italian, Chinese and English. Many of them have also been responsible for the professional development of teaching teams working in varied blended models. The authors draw on pioneering and innovative work carried out in the fifteen years since the inception of language courses at the Open University, where blended models have been modified and become more complex over the years. The ideas they present are therefore well-formed, tested and have been approached reflectively.
Language teachers, particularly those who teach adult learners at all levels, will find the book of immense value in enhancing their professional perspective, assisting the development of their own teaching practice and enabling them to make useful links between research and practice.
The editors are all Senior Lecturers in the Open University’s Faculty of Education and Language Studies, and Staff Tutors in Languages, Margaret Nicolson for the Open University in Scotland, Linda Murphy for the Open University in the South of England and Margaret Southgate for the Open University in Wales.

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