Criteria for evaluating synchronous learning management systems: arguments from the distance language classroom
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As Virtual Learning Environments (VLE) supported by synchronous technologies such as Synchronous Learning Management Systems (SLMSs) are still new to distance language professionals, criteria guiding the evaluation of the appropriate SLMSs for Distance Language Education (DLE) are urgently needed. This article proposes and discusses such criteria. To achieve this, we divide the article into four sections. The first section identifies the need to develop criteria for evaluating an appropriate SLMS for DLE by reviewing what has been achieved in the research into Computer Mediated Communications (CMC) and SLMSs. The second section examines established principles of second language (L2) learning and the nature of distance language education in order to establish a theoretical framework for the formulation of such criteria. In section three, we propose five major criteria for evaluating an effective SLMS for DLE. We further discuss and argue for each criterion from the perspectives of both an e-instructor and an e-learner, and drawing on the empirical data from our distance language classroom. The final section acknowledges the limitations of the study and concludes that the proposal of these criteria is timely and that these criteria need to be enriched with the pedagogical and technological developments in DLE.
Computer Assisted Language Learning
© 2009 Routledge. This is an electronic version of an article published in Computer Assisted Language Learning Volume 22, Issue 1, Year 2009, Pages 1-18. Computer Assisted Language Learning is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com with the open URL of your article.
Language, Communication and Culture not elsewhere classified